By Ollie Irish
In front of, er, not very many fans at all, Malawi recorded their first ever win in the African Cup of Nations. And utterly deserved it was too, as Algeria – one of England’s group rivals at the 2010 World Cup – were worse than rubbish, particularly at the back.
This result has sent the English press into a frenzy of ill-judged, pre-World Cup confidence. For example, the Mail thinks that “awful” Algeria offer “no World Cup threat to Fabio Capello and England”, whilst even the mild-mannered Independent suggests that “Capello will find no reason to fear Algeria”.
Dangerous talk. I’m more inclined to think that Algerian hearts are not really in the ACN, and that most of their focus is on the World Cup. I’d bet a decent wegde of cash that the abject Algeria we saw yesterday will bear no resemblence to the Algeria that plays England this summer. Indeed, I suspect all of the African teams currently in Angola who have also qualified for South Africa will be taking it relatively easy at this tournament, if not on purpose then subconsciously – you can’t play two major tournaments in one year at full throttle, and a World Cup will always be the priority.
So don’t write off Algeria yet.
The best photos from Luanda below: