Algeria advanced to the knock-out stages of the World Cup for the first time in their on Thursday by drawing 1-1 with Russia in Group H.
After Aleksandr Kokorin opened the scoring for Russia in the sixth minute, Islam Slimani struck the decisive equalizer after 60 minutes at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba.
Algeria improved to four points in the group for second place and a date with Germany in the round of 16, while the 2018 World Cup hosts Russia exit the World Cup in third place with two points.
Algeria join Nigeria in the knock-out stage for the first time that two African nations reached the last 16.
Belgium topped Group H with nine points and will take on the United States in the last 16 while South Korea bowed out with just one point in last place.
Russia drew 1-1 with South Korea in their Group H opener and then lost 1-0 against Belgium.
Algeria meanwhile came into the game on a high after blasting past South Korea 4-2 to take the driver’s seat for the knock—out stage, after having led but eventually lost to Belgium 2—1 in their opener.
Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic made one change to his line—up with Esseid Belkalem coming on for Madjid Bougherra. His Russian counterpart Fabio Capello started Aleksandr Kerzhakov instead of Maksim Kanunnikov.
Russia went ahead in the sixth minute as Dmitry Kombarov crossed from the left side to Kokorin, who rose above his defender to head inside the left post.
It was the first time that Algeria fell behind to start the game as the Desert Foxes led against Belgium and South Korea.
Russia actually scored the goal with a man advantage as Algerian star Sofiane Feghouli was being treated on the sidelines for a gash on his head when Kokorin found the back of the net.
The Russians nearly doubled the lead after 21 minutes but Kokorin headed wide and then Oleg Shatov’s long distance shot sailed just right five minutes later.
Algeria finally started to create some offence and got their first scoring opportunity just before the half—hour mark with Slimani’s header going just over the bar.
The Algerian keeper Rais M’Bolhi made a great save to keep his team in the game two minutes after the re—start, blocking away Alexander Samedov in a one—on—one situation after he combined with Kokorin.
Algeria’s determination paid off at the hour mark with the equalizer off a set piece. Yacine Brahimi’s free kick from the left side was headed in by Slimani as Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev was late coming off his line.
M’Bolhi was again spot on with 20 minutes remaining, getting down just in time to stop Kerzhakov’s blast from the right side.
Russia’s final chance to stay in Brazil came in the 90th minute but Aleksei Kozlov’s header went wide of the target.