Algeria national football team
The Algeria national football team, nicknamed Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes), is the national team of Algeria and is controlled by the Fédération Algérienne de Football. Algeria managed to qualify to two consecutive World Cups in 1982 and 1986. Algeria also won the Africa Cup of Nations once in 1990 when they hosted the tournament. In November 2009, Algeria beat North African rivals Egypt in a World Cup qualification tiebreaker to secure a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
1980–1990: apogee of Algerian football
During the 1980 African Nations Cup, Algeria finished runner-up with the following results: after a draw against Ghana (0–0), it defeated both Morocco (1–0, with a goal by Lakhdar Belloumi) and Guinea (3–2, with goals by Hocine Benmiloudi and a double by Tedj Bensaoula). In the semi-finals, they beat Egypt in a penalty shoot-out (2–2, PK 4–2, with goals by Salah Assad and Hocine Benmiloudi). In the final, they were defeated by Nigeria by a score of 3–0. In the 1982 African Cup of Nations, Algeria finished fourth and qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
 World Cup 1982
The 1982 FIFA World Cup saw one of the great World Cup upsets on the first day with the 2–1 victory of Algeria over reigning European Champions West Germany. This famous result for the Algerians put the Germans in grave danger of failing to qualify for the next round. This led to many people believing that the final match in the group between West Germany and Austria was fixed, as Algeria had already played their final group game the day before, West Germany and Austria knew that a West German win by 1 or 2 goals would qualify them both, while a larger German victory would qualify Algeria over Austria, and a draw or an Austrian win would eliminate the Germans. The fourth team in the group, Chile, were eliminated regardless of the outcome. After 10 minutes of all-out attack, West Germany succeeded in scoring through a goal by Horst Hrubesch. After the goal was scored, the two German-speaking teams went into an unspoken agreement and just kicked the ball around aimlessly for the rest of the match. Chants of "Fuera, fuera" ("Out, out") were screamed by the appalled Spanish crowd, while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. This performance was widely deplored, even by the German and Austrian fans who had hoped for a hot rematch of the 1978 FIFA World Cup match in which Austria had beaten West Germany. One German fan was so upset by his team's display that he burned his German flag in disgust. Algeria protested to FIFA, who ruled that the result be allowed to stand, but events led to FIFA introducing a revised qualification system at subsequent World Cups in which the final two games in each group were played simultaneously.
 World Cup 1986
In 1984, Algeria took third place in the 1984 African Nations Cup in Côte d'Ivoire. During the 1986 African Nations Cup, the national teams recorded two defeats and one draw and was eliminated in the first round. In Mexico, at the 1986 World Cup, the Algerians were not able to pass the first round once again in a group that included Northern Ireland (1–1 draw), Brazil (1–0 loss), and Spain (3–0 loss). Only one Algerian managed to score during this competition: Djamel Zidane. From thereon, Algeria failed to qualify for another World Cup until 2010.
Africa Cup of Nations 1990
In 1990, Algeria hosted the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations. In Group A, the Algerians started the tournament by beating Nigeria (5–1, with doubles by Djamel Menad and Rabah Madjer and a goal by Djamel Amani), Côte d'Ivoire (3–0, with goals by Djamel Menad, Tahar Cherif El Ouazzani, and Cherif Oudjani) and Egypt (2–0, with goals by Djamel Amani and Moussa Saib). In the semi-finals, Algeria beat Senegal 2–1 (goals by Djamel Menad and Djamel Amani in front of 85,000 fans in the Stade 5 Juillet 1962.
In the final against Nigeria, in front of 200,000 fans in the same stadium, Cherif Oudjani, in the 38th minute, enabled Algeria to win the African Nations Cup for the first time. Djamel Menad was crowned top scorer of the competition with four goals.
1990–2008: The walk through the desert
Having won an African Nations Cup title, the Algerian team, however, had not managed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. In 1991, the national team won the Afro-Asian Cup of Nations against Iran. As title holders, Algeria disappointed at the 1992 African Nations Cup in Senegal, recording a loss against Côte d'Ivoire (3–0) and a draw against Congo (1–1, with a goal by Nacer Bouiche). In 1994, Algeria was disqualified from the 1994 African Nations Cup in Tunisia due to the use of an ineligible player and failed during the 1994 World Cup qualifiying.
In 1996, Algeria returned to African Cup of Nations, but were eliminated by hosts South Africa in the quarter-finals. The Algerians failed to qualify for the following World Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2006. During the 1998 African Cup of Nations, Algeria finished last in its group with three defeats and was eliminated in the group stage. In the 2000 African Cup of Nations, the Fennecs managed to pass to the first round only to lose to Cameroon (2–1). Algeria once more failed to pass the first round in the African competition in 2002 but managed to get to the quarter-finals in 2004; however, they were eliminated by Morocco by a score of 3–1 after extra-time (the lone Algerian goal was scored by Abdelmalek Cherrad. Algeria failed to qualify for the following two Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008.
World Cup 2010 qualifiers
On 11 October 2008, Algeria returned to the top 20 African teams by finishing first in their group ahead of Senegal, Gambia, and Liberia for the second round on the combined 2010 World Cup and 2010 African Cup of Nations qualifications. In the third and final round of the qualifiers, Algeria was joined by Zambia, Rwanda, and Egypt. In July 2009, Algeria made their return amongst the world's top fifty after a 3–1 win against the double African champions Egypt and a 2–0 away win against Zambia. Beating Zambia in Blida 1–0 followed by a 3–1 win against Rwanda, Algeria ensured that the qualification for the World Cup would go down to the wire with a final encounter against Egypt in Cairo, where nothing less than a loss by three goals would stop the Fennecs from going to South Africa. Prior to the game the Algerian team bus was attacked by violent hooligans leaving several team members injured. This led to a diplomatic row between the two countries, which resulted in Algeria halting gas exports to Egypt. Algeria unsurprisingly lost the game 2-0. Algeria won the resulting play off in Sudan 1-0. Algeria moved to the 29th position in FIFA ranking – one place behind Egypt in the October 2009 ranking. In November 2009, they beat fierce rivals Egypt in a playoff 2010 World Cup in South Africa and moved to the highest FIFA ranking ever reached by Algeria (26) in December 2009.[
They were drawn in Group C, where they will face England, the United States, and Slovenia
Africa Cup of Nations 2010
The team put on a mixed performance in the tournament. Being drawn in Group A, with Angola, Malawi and Mali, Algeria started poorly by losing 3-0 to group outsiders Malawi. However, they improved in the following game against Mali, beating them 1-0 thanks to a Rafik Halliche header. In the last match, they drew 0-0 with Angola, which sent them to the second round, finishing with the same amount of points as Mali, but with a superior head-to-head record. Playing in Cabinda, Algeria faced Côte d'Ivoire in the quarterfinals, who were considered heavy favourites to qualify. But they got a historic win. After trailing 1-0, Karim Matmour equalized, but Keita gave the Ivorians the lead in the 89th minute, a goal which seemed sure to seal their victory. However, the Algerians equalized with Madjid Bougherra just 2 minutes later in added time, and Hameur Bouazza gave the Fennecs the lead in extra time. Algeria faced Egypt in the semi finals, Egypt, in their first meeting since theWorld Cup qualification play-off. Egypt won the game 4-0 which was the biggest defeat in the history of both teams meetings. Algeria lost 1-0 to Nigeria in the 3rd place game and finished fourth in the competition.