The world has been stunned by the apparent use of a green laser pen apparently being used to distract the Russian Goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, moments before Algeria scored an equaliser.
In a tense, hard fought competition, Algerian striker Islam Slimani slotted the ball past the goalie with a second-half header. The goal brought Algeria 1 – 1 and allowed the Desert Foxes to progress into the last 16.
The Algerians were behind for most of the match after Alexander Kokorin scored in only the sixth minute. A pinpoint accurate header slammed into the back of the net sending the Russians into raptures. For the rest of the match the Russians peppered the Algerian goal, but to no avail.
Set plays between Kokorin and Aleksandr Samedov looked certain to sizzle by the Algerian keeper. But Rais Mbolhi was everywhere. He single-handedly kept the Algerians in the game with his athleticism, skill and desperation.
Mbolhi’s finest moment came 21 minutes from fulltime when Samedov broke through the defensive line to zero in on the Algerian goal. He looped a beautiful cross to Kerzhokov who swooped in from the right. Kerzhokov’s strike was low and and fast as a bullet. Mbolhi batted it away and secured the ball on the Russian’s second attempt.
Replays of the Algerian equaliser clearly show the light from a laser pen wavering across Akinfeev’s face. Match officials are taking this disruption very seriously. Whatever the outcome, the result will stand.
This means the Desert Foxes now have the opportunity to exact revenge on West Germany and Austria.
In 1982 the Algerians were bundled out of the World Cup when Germany was all but allowed to win 1 – 0. The result benefitted both teams at the expense of Algeria and the treachery has never been forgotten.