Algerians party in Gaza after World Cup qualification

Algerians party in Gaza

algerians party in gaza 248.88 (photo credit: )
algerians party in gaza 248.88
(photo credit: )
Algerians partied in Gaza City on Wednesday night after the national team earned its first World Cup berth since 1986 with a 1-0 victory over bitter rival Egypt. "This team beat Germany in 1982 and will remind us again of these victories at the World Cup 2010," said fan Muayad Al-Meskhal. "They represent now all Arab countries and all Arab countries are standing behind the Algerian team now." In Algiers, locals burst onto streets in celebration and the Algerian flag was brandished by women in hijabs, a rare sight in the country, as fans set off fireworks and traffic came to a standstill. The one-off playoff in neutral Khartoum, Sudan was necessary after Algeria and Egypt were tied atop Group C in African qualifying. It was sweet revenge for the Algerians, who were eliminated in 1989 when Egypt won 1-0 at home in a make-or-break qualifying game that propelled it to the 1990 World Cup. Algeria will appear in only its third World Cup, after reaching football's showcase finals in 1982 and 1986. Algeria's celebrations were in marked contrast to Saturday, when Egypt won 2-0 in Cairo to force the tiebreaker playoff. Before that match, three Algerian players received facial cuts when Egyptian fans pelted Algeria's team bus with rocks. After the defeat, the Egyptian Embassy and high-profile Egyptian businesses in Algiers were attacked. Security was stepped up on Wednesday near the embassy but there were no signs of violence. The jubilant atmosphere crossed the Mediterranean to Marseille and Paris, where there are large Algerian populations. Youths hanging from cars, honking horns and brandishing the Algerian flag made victory laps down Paris' Champs-Elysees.