Algerian joy over 2010 berth
© AFP

Algerians home and abroad exploded with joy as the final whistle sounded in Khartoum to send the north African country to its first football FIFA World Cup™ since 1986.

A huge cheer echoed around Algeria at the end of the match, after what one supporter, 45-year-old Djamel, called "90 minutes of the worst agonies."

Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, flooded into the streets in towns and villages across the country, celebrating with flags, fireworks and car horns. Even a few police officers lost their cool, sounding their sirens to join in the rapture at the triumph of les Verts - Algeria's green-clad side who beat Egypt 1-0 in the do-or-die playoff in Khartoum. Around Algiers, fans shouted "Thank you, les Verts", "One, two, three, viva Algeria" and "We're going to the World Cup".

We've shown our support for the team since they were beaten in Cairo on Saturday and now we've done it. The dream has come true!
A joyful Algeria fan

Packed into cars and running through the crowded streets, young men and women - many wrapped in the green and white national flag - beamed with happiness. "It's too much, they've given us everything," said Naima, 18, laughing and crying at once. "Do you have any idea what the tension was like? We've shown our support for the team since they were beaten in Cairo on Saturday and now we've done it. The dream has come true!" one of her friends shouted.

Huge crowds turned out on the promenade in the western coastal city of Oran and similar scenes of jubilation were reported in other towns and villages around the country.

There was more euphoria in Paris, where crowds of Algerians and French Algerians gathered in the Barbes area to celebrate the win with cheers, flags and firecrackers. Across the French capital, convoys of cars drove up and down the streets, flying the Algerian flag and sounding their horns, often cheered by passers-by.