Algeria arrived in Cairo two days ago. As their bus left the airport, it was attacked with rocks :
“They struck our bus with large bricks,” said a distraught Antar Yahia. "Players have open head wounds with blood. We were lying down in the bus. All the windows were broken. It makes you fear for your life. As long as our lives are not assured we’re afraid to play this match."
Yahia then went on to say that the security guards dispatched for the team did nothing in response to the attacks.
“They let them do it. You can’t launch five kilo rocks from 50 meters. They let them do it and watched. It’s shameful. In our home game we welcomed them with flowers,” he continued.
The Egyptian press accused the players of faking their head injuries.
In the game ? 1-0 to Egypt at the end of normal time. Six minutes added time awarded.
Egypt score in the fifth minute of added time to draw level with Algeria at the top of the group. Egypt 2 Algeria 0. They'll play off in Sudan on Wednesday. Khartoum ? Or Omdurman ?
Apparently the last time they met in similar circumstances, in 1989 :
As an Egyptian player who took part in the match in 1989 recently recalled:
It was an incredible atmosphere. The stadium was full five hours before the game [...] The Algeria team was full of stars and on the pitch it was very crazy; 11 fights between every player. Everybody forgot what the coaches had to say and just fought instead. It was a battle, not a football match. It was like our war against Israel in 1973.
The already tense atmosphere that day got worse when the Algerian team concluded that Egypt’s winning goal was scored by a player in an offside position (although video of the goal available on the Internet today seems to show that it was correctly allowed). After the match, the Algerians surrounded and harassed the referee and then fought with Egyptian supporters — one of whom was blinded by broken glass.
UPDATE - on consideration, the female of the species .... far from the passions of Cairo, New Mexico's defender Elizabeth Lambert displays 'some questionable plays' ... nasty. I'm not sure I've seen much rougher than that - and I don't mean her looks.