Algeria coach Rabah Saadane said Friday his team showed they have the potential to mix with the big boys after holding England to a 0-0 draw at the FIFA World Cup™. Algeria played defensive tactics with just one striker which prevented England creating chances and Saadane said it went to plan and they learned a lot.
"For Algeria it was a very good thing to play against England," he said. "It is through matches like this and in a stadium like this that we bring the level of our team up. I think we have capacity and potential. But we need to be able to maintain this sort of level. Teams like England and Germany can achieve this continuity over a long period of time and that's what we need to do."
Although Algeria successfully closed England down, Fabio Capello's team largely failed to get a goal because they were sloppy -- missing passes and giving the ball away too easily.
Saadane said it was not the England he expected. "I was expecting better. I don't know what happened to them," he said. "We could have won and so could England. Both had opportunities. I think it was a match where everyone tried as much as they could and it's a pity it was a draw and a goalless draw at that."
The Algerians now have one point in Group C to retain a slim chance of making the round of 16 with a crunch game against the United States next up.
The coach still believes they can sneak over the line. "We deal with each match when we play that match and we only have one match left and the situation in the group is still open for every team to qualify," he said. "We need to use our potential to qualify for the next round."