Algeria have done it. For the first time in their history they have reached the knock out phase of the World Cup, where they will face the team that denied them that opportunity thirty-two years and one day ago. But their moment of triumph was marred by controversy, with Russia’s goalkeeper, Igor Akinfeev, distracted by a green laser pen shone in his face when Islam Slimani scored the crucial goal.
At the end, hearts were in mouths, and as time ran down Algeria were desperate for the referee to blow the final whistle. When he did, their players ran on to the pitch, leaping and bounding and embracing. What a moment this was. They set off on a lap of honour, flags waving.