The Fennec Foxes are entering back-to-back World Cups for the first time since the 1980’s, and they’re hoping to finally make a breakthrough to the knockout rounds.
Madjid Bougherra is Algeria’s captain and rock on what will be a heavily-stressed Algerian backline. The former Rangers stalwart scored the goal against Burkina Faso to punch his nation’s ticket to Rio, and the Fennec Foxes are hoping that the veteran has a few more inspiring performances left in him.
Road to Rio
Winning five of six matches gave Algeria top spot in Group H, advancing to the playoff phase where the Fennec Foxes met upstart Burkina Faso. A tense two-leg playoff saw Algeria advance on away goals, losing 3-2 away and then winning 1-0 at home to secure a spot in Rio.
- World Cup Group: H
- Nickname: Fennec Foxes
- Manager: Vahid Halilhodžić
- Captain: Madjid Bougherra
- FIFA World Ranking: 22
- Best World Cup Result: Group Stage, 1982, 1986, 2010
- Qualification Method: 1st in CAF Group H, defeated Burkina Faso in a playoff
How they Fared in 2010
A loss to Slovenia preceded a surprising and deserved draw against England, which the Fennec Foxes celebrated as if it was a victory. In their final match of Group C, the United States scored an injury-time winner to defeat the Fennec Foxes and advance to the knockout round. Algeria ended up finishing last in the group and didn’t advance to the knockout stages.
- Tuesday June 17 -- Belgium vs. Algeria, Noon ET
- Sunday June 22 -- South Korea vs. Algeria, 3 p.m. ET
- Thursday June 26 -- Algeria vs. Russia, 4 p.m. ET
An improved side from 2010 and a favourable group draw plays well into the Fennec Foxes’ hands, but it would still be a big surprise to see Algeria make it out of Group H over Russia or South Korea. Job No. 1 for Algeria is definitely winning the country’s first World Cup match in over two decades. After that, the Fennec Foxes can afford to dream bigger.