PORTO ALEGRE – Gp H: South Korea 2, Algeria 4
—- Algeria moved up to second in World Cup Group H as they overcame South Korea in a six-goal thriller in Porto Alegre.
The Koreans’ defending was almost suspiciously sloppy as Islam Slimani ran onto a long ball to flick in the first before a Rafick Halliche header put Algeria 2-0 up.
Abdelmoumene Djabou sidefooted in a third, before Song Heung-min’s low shot pulled one back as South Korea rallied.
Yacine Brahimi added Algeria’s fourth and, despite Koo Ja-cheol scoring a second for Korea, Algeria held on for their first World Cup win since 1982.
What the match lacked in quality it made up for in entertainment.
Algeria, narrowly beaten by group leaders Belgium in their opening game, knew a second defeat would end their hopes of progressing from the group stage for the first time.
Second round bid
They responded in emphatic fashion, becoming the first African team to score four goals in a World Cup game.
A win for the Desert Foxes against Russia will now secure a last-16 spot, and a draw could be enough if South Korea fail to beat Belgium.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic made five changes from the opening defeat by Belgium and his reshuffle had the desired impact.
Sofiane Feghouli had a strong shout for a penalty turned down when he appeared to have been tripped by Kim Young-gwon before the ball fell for Brahimi to hook over.
Slimani then found space at the far post only to head wide and also badly mistimed a first-time shot from six yards as he met an inviting cross from Aissa Mandi.
But the Portugal-based striker, who was his side’s top scorer in qualifying, quickly made amends as he outpaced two defenders to push a long Carl Medjani pass past on-rushing keeper Jung Sung-ryong.
Defender Halliche extended the lead two minutes later with his second goal for his country, a surprisingly free header from an Djabou corner.
South Korea had not managed a shot on target in the first half but pulled a goal back shortly after the break when a mistake from Madjid Bougherra allowed Song to shoot through the legs of keeper Rais Mbohli.
Now Algeria were penned back and they survived a further scare when Ki Sung-yueng had a long range shot palmed over by Mbohli.
Brahimi restored his side’s three-goal advantage when he played a one-two with Feghouli before slotting past Jung.
South Korea, vastly improved but much too late, claimed one further consolation goal when Lee Keun-ho squared for Koo to score from close range.