POLOKWANE, South Africa, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia, 25th on latest FIFA rankings, snatched their first-ever win in the World Cup finals here on Sunday, edging 10-man Algeria 1-0 in their first Group C match.
This is the first Africa-Europe clash in the World Cup in South Africa and the first meeting of the two national sides.
A stunning goalkeeping error from Faouzi Chaouchi in the 79th minute gifted Slovenia the victory. Robert Koren tried a speculative shot from 25 yards out and the keeper moved to the right position but failed to gather the ball.
The fatal error was like a photocopy of that in last night's England-United States duel where a U.S. shot slipped in from England keeper Robert Green's hands.
"Everyone saw what happened with the ball, and what happened yesterday with England's goalkeeper," said Algeria coach Rabah Saadane. "You have to adjust to the flight of the ball."
"We must recover and prepare for an even more difficult match with England, the best in the group," he noted.
A red card in the second half acted as the turning point of the lackluster match in Polokwane.
Algerian forward Abdelkader Ghezzal came off the bench in the 58th minute to replace Rafik Djebbour. Only playing for 15 minutes, he was sent off for collecting two yellow cards.
Algeria's only win in the last 15 attempts against European opposition was against Romania in December 2000.
Algeria head coach Rabah Saadane dropped out-of-form captain Yazid Mansouri, with Portsmouth's Hassan Yebda partnering Medhi Lacen in midfield. Defender Anther Yahia became skipper in the field.
Slovenia head coach Matjaz Kek stuck with a settled starting lineup in the last five World Cup qualifiers, captained by former West Bromwich midfielder Robert Koren.
During the match, neither team showed any purpose or composure on the ball.
Algeria's best chance came in the 40th minute when a good run down the left resulted in a deep ball played to the right with midfielder Karim Matmour turning inside before blazing a blast over the crossbar.