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Woeful display sees England draw with Algeria

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 18 June 2010

England fail to pierce the Algerian defence resulting in a goalless World Cup draw in Cape Town as Fabio Capello's hopes fade of qualifying from the group.

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England and Algeria laboured to a goalless draw at the World Cup in a Group C match which produced few chances for either team.

After a disorganised and error-strewn display for England a defeat in the next match against Slovenia and could lead to an embarrassing first-round exit.

Fabio Capello's side managed only one worthwhile attempt on goal in the first half with a Frank Lampard shot held on to by Algerian keeper Rais Bolhi. The second half saw the team on the offensive but still England failed to pierce through the Algerian defence.

Goalkeeper Robert Green paid the price for his blunder against the United States as he was replaced by David James, who earned his first start in a competitive international for 14 months.

Green fumbled a save that allowed USA's Clint Dempsey to score the equaliser in a game that was widely viewed as belonging to England. Algeria also replaced their goalkeeper before the match began.

The resulting draw placed significant importance on tonight's game with Algeria - but with England's draw their chances of qualifying from the group has become unlikely.

Hopes were high before the match as England and Algeria fans alike descended on Cape Town. A huge roar greeted the teams as they walked on to the pitch at the Green Point Stadium as the familiar one note tune of vuvuzela horns filled the air.

England flags were hung all around the hoardings, while the majority of Algerians occupied one corner of the 64,100-seater stadium.

Princes William and Harry, dressed smartly in suits, sat beside each other looking on.

Speaking earlier, William, an avid Aston Villa fan and president of the Football Association, said: "Obviously 10-0 would be quite nice but I don't think that's realistic.

"Bearing in mind it's Fabio Capello's birthday today, what would be a better present than having England win? Three-nil would be great tonight."

Harry gave his own prediction: "No pressure. A win would be fantastic but we shouldn't put a particular number on it. 1-0 is good enough. A win's a win."

England will now face Slovenia on Wednesday 23rd June. 

An African World Cup? Think again
So much for this being an African World Cup, writes football author Steve Bloomfield for Channel 4 News.

Few Africans from outside the host country have been able to make the trip south, while the South Africans who make their trade from football – the informal hawkers and trinket sellers – have been banned from within half a mile of the stadiums.

The official World Cup song is performed by a Colombian and to top it all the temperature has routinely dropped below freezing. The hawkers outside the exclusion zone are selling out of ear-muffs.

All of that might have been forgotten if the six African teams had performed on the pitch, but so far this is shaping up to be the worst World Cup for Africa since Cameroon’s Roger Milla-inspired breakthrough in 1990. In the first eight matches played by African teams they have managed just one win between them and scored three goals.

Most Africans will be getting behind Ivory Coast and Ghana this weekend, knowing that defeats for both could leave the continent without any representatives in the final 16.

Too many Africans have already been left out off the pitch; it would be a terrible shame if Africa found itself excluded on the pitch too.

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