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Tactics: U.S. defend deep

Tactics Board

CAF's best push UEFA teams to the limit

Five Aside

Germany won't repeat 1982 mistakes


African Nations Cup: Algeria's football team has deep French roots

Tournament favourites Algeria came from behind to beat South Africa 3-1 in their African Cup of Nations opener on Monday.
Algeria head coach Christian Gourcuff insists one of the reasons why he took the role at the north African nation was to test himself at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff and captain Rafik Halliche preview their side's Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash with South Africa.
Algeria's national football team trained in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea ahead of their opening group match in the 2015 African Nations Cup.
Algeria has a decidedly French flavour to its African Nations Cup team.

The Africa Cup of Nations is now well underway, and while the tournament is already gripping fans, the resulting player absences are being keenly felt in Europe's major leagues. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in France, where no less than 52 Ligue 1 players are participating in the tournament in Equatorial Guinea.

Reciprocally, the showpiece itself has a strong French flavour. Thievy Bifouma, born a generous goal kick away from Stade de France, scored Congo's late equaliser against the...

African Nations Cup preview Group C: Heavyweights ready to impress

Algeria and Getafe midfielder on his side's chances in the forthcoming AFCON in Equatorial Guinea.


Africa's highest-ranked team, Algeria -- who sit 15th in the world -- four-time former champions Ghana, previous winners South Africa and a Senegal side that seems to have found its soul make up the group of death. This is the pool to watch and it is expected the best football from the first round will come from here.

Projected finish

Too tough to call but here's an attempt: Algeria should advance, given the way they dominated the continental game over the last 12 months. Anything...

 By Michael Cox

Fatigue played a role in round of 16

If the group stage was about shocks, the round of 16 was what we expected.

For the first time since the switch to a 32-team tournament in 1998, the World Cup's round of 16 games were won by the eight group winners, with the eight runners-up eliminated.

How predictable, you might think. We might as well scrap the round of 16 and put the group winners straight through to the quarterfinals. Although, of course, the actual matches weren't remotely predictable.

Two were decided on penalties, three more...

 By Maher Mezahi

Assessment: Algeria fight to finish

One sentence, World Cup recap

This talented Algerian squad have written their names in domestic footballing folklore by progressing to the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

Star Man

Several names could be penciled in as Algeria's star man. Goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi pulled off decisive stops in each of Algeria's four matches. Sofiane Feghouli proved that he is this team's undisputed talisman. He worked tirelessly both offensively and defensively and he chipped in with a goal and two...

Tactics Board: USA defend deep; versatile Di Maria

The USA were pushed into a defensive effort against Belgium.


It was one of the great rearguard actions of the World Cup. Belgium's quest for a goal lasted 93 minutes and the United States defended defiantly. The sheer volume of clearances made by Jurgen Klinsmann's team -- and centre-backs Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler in particular -- was testament to their organisation and spirit, but also indicates the amount of pressure they were under.

The United States actually have quite a high defensive line; indeed, some of Belgium's...

 By Maher Mezahi

Algeria tactically astute in Germany defeat

After employing an attacking 4-2-3-1 in consecutive matches, Algeria head coach Vahid Halilhodzic reverted to a 4-3-3 against Germany on Monday night. He first launched the counterattacking tactic versus Belgium in Algeria's opening fixture. On that day Les Fennecs struggled to transition out of a low block and threaten Belgium, but on Monday night they carried Halilhodzic's instructions out to a tee.

- Moonda: Africa departs Brazil in disappointment
- Delaney: Algeria push Germany to the limit