Algeria beats Egypt 1-0 to reach World Cup

Published Nov. 18, 2009 10:43 p.m. ET

Algeria qualified for its first World Cup since 1986, beating Egypt 1-0 in a tiebreaker playoff Wednesday night on Antar Yahya's goal from an acute angle in the 39th minute. Egypt, whose only World Cup appearances were in 1934 and 1990, forced the playoff by beating Algeria 2-0 on an injury-time goal in Cairo last Saturday. That left the nations tied atop Africa Group C and set off several violent outbursts. The embassy and sites of Egyptian businesses such as Egypt Air and telecom group Orascom were attacked on Saturday. Several Algerian players had been injured before the match in Cairo as Egypt fans pelted Algeria's team bus with rocks. Algeria, which also appeared in the 1982 World Cup, completed the African field for next year's tournament, joining Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and host South Africa. Yahya scored with a right-footed volley that beat goalkeeper Essam El Hadary. Security was stepped up near the Egyptian Embassy in the Algerian capital, Algiers, but there were no signs of violence. The streets of Algiers quickly filled with celebrating citizens, some setting off fireworks. Traffic came to a standstill in the center of town. Women in hijabs, or veils, were seen brandishing the Algerian flag, a rare site in the North African nation. The jubilant atmosphere crossed the Mediterranean to Marseille and Paris, where there are large Algerian populations. Streams of youths hanging from cars, honking horns and brandishing the Algerian flag made victory laps down Paris' Champs-Elysees.