Capello will find no reason to fear Algeria

England's World Cup rivals put on a shambolic show in 3-0 loss to Malawi

Those England players who managed to tear themselves away from the snooker on BBC2 to tune into Eurosport yesterday afternoon will have seen their future World Cup opponents Algeria humbled and outclassed 3-0 by a side ranked 73 places below them.

Algeria were completely outplayed by the men from Malawi, who are ranked 99th by Fifa but possessed far greater spirit, invention, organisation and technique than their more celebrated opponents.

England face the Desert Foxes in Cape Town on 18 June in their second group game and Fabio Capello's side will encounter little resistance if the Algerians play as badly as they did yesterday in a near-empty stadium in the Angolan capital Luanda. Anyone trying to find weak areas in the Algeria side would have been spoilt for choice: the defenders failed to mark; the goalkeeper was atrocious; they lacked pace and lost heart; the midfield provided little cover for the back four; they were out-muscled far too many times.

The understanding between the players was so non-existent they looked like a side that had never played together before. Team-mates ran into each other and passes were misread, opponents were left unmarked.

Goalkeeper Fawzi Chaouchi was as bad as his haircut – shaved bald except for an inch-wide strip of hair as a fringe – and was responsible for Malawi's first and third goals, scored respectively by Russell Mwafulirwa and Davi Banda (who was definitely not the David Banda adopted by Madonna a couple of years ago).

Sandwiched between was a stunning header by Elvis Kafoteka, after the Algerian defence had left him free at a corner.

There were few positives for Algeria who lined up in a standard 4-4-2 formation, with target man Abdelkader Ghezzal their primary attacking weapon. The striker, who plays for Siena in Italy's Serie A, worked tirelessly up front, and was lively and determined but rarely threatened the Malawi goal. A poor man's Emile Heskey.

The only other player to show much invention was the Portsmouth left-back Nadir Belhadj, who zipped up and down the left flank and whose crosses provided Algeria with their most likely scoring route.

Much was expected of playmaker Karim Ziani of Wolfsburg but he is not quite as good as he thinks he is and all too often he was guilty of trying too hard to impress.

At the final whistle the Algerians trudged off the pitch like a team who couldn't wait for this tournament to be over. The England players can have flicked back to Stephen Hendry against Shaun Murphy thinking they can hardly wait for another, more important, tournament to begin.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own