Africa makes history as two sides reach World Cup knockout stage
Algeria players
Algeria players celebrate following the group H World Cup soccer match between Algeria and Russia at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil (Photo: AP)
Ahram Online
Friday 27 Jun 2014
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Africa will have two representatives in the World Cup knockout stage for the first time after Nigeria and Algeria sealed passage to the last 16.

Algeria, nicknamed the Desert Foxes, finished second in Group H after producing a spirited display to come from behind and earn a 1-1 draw with Russia on Thursday.

They will face Germany in the last 16 in a re-match of their famous meeting in 1982 in Gijon, where Algeria sprang a huge surprise after beating their illustrious opponents 2-1.

Nigeria also went through as runners up in Group F despite losing 3-2 to leaders Argentina in an exciting clash on Wednesday. They will meet France in the round of 16

Africa has had five representatives at the World Cup since the 1998 edition in France but they could only have one team in the knockout stages in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.

At the Brazil finals, Ivory Coast and Ghana, who were favourites to advance from Africa, bowed out after falling at the last hurdles in Groups C and G respectively.

No African team has ever reached the semis, with the best achievement being quarter-final finishes in 1990 (Cameroon), 2002 (Senegal) and Ghana (2010).

Algeria and Nigeria will find it tough to book a last-four berth, given the tough opponents they will meet in the next stage.

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