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The Group H decider between Russia and Algeria for the spot in the Last 16 of the much anticipated global football event in Brazil ended with 1-1 draw on Thursday. However the draw did not bring the Russian squad enough points to advance further in the tournament and subsequently saw the national team packing home.
Video footage from various cameras broadcasting during Thursday’s match at Curitiba’s Arena de Baixada repeatedly showed beam traces from a laser pointer on the face of Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev. Someone was apparently trying to blind the goalie.
“The Football Federation of Algeria expresses its regret over irresponsible behavior of some fans and reminds that the use of laser pointers and fireworks during football matches is strictly prohibited,” the federation said in a statement posted on its website.
FIFA later reported that it failed to identify the fan, who used the laser pointer, saying the video image of the suspect’s face was to blurry to place his identity.
Russia’s famed Head Coach Fabio Capello said after the match that Akinfeyev failed to intercept the only Algerian goal in the match because of the blinding beam from a laser pointer.
It was indeed different team Russia on Thursday night comparing with its two previous games in Brazil as the Russians switched from its marshy defensive style to aggressive offensive play, which proved to be correct on the sixth minute into the game with Alexander Kokorin burning the Algerian net to put his team with 1-0 lead.
However, 15 minutes into the second half Algeria’s forward Islam Slimani answered the Russian team with a goal to draw the score to 1-1 draw, which remained unchanged until the final whistle of the match.
The Algerian national team is playing Germany on Monday night at the Beira-Rio stadium in Brazil’s Porto Alegre in an eliminator for the quarterfinals’ spot of the World Cup.
Both teams previously played each other twice with Germany winning in both matches and having 4-1 record of scored and missed goals.