JOACHIM LOW has warned Germany they must not underestimate Algeria, who will be looking to settle a 32-year-old score today.
Algeria will make it through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time if they beat Germany in Porto Alegre.
The African team have another motivation to beat the Germans – revenge.
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At the 1982 World Cup, Austria appeared to allow West Germany to beat them 1-0 so both teams could progress to the second round at Algeria’s expense.
Algerian officials launched a protest, claiming the match was fixed, but the allegations were never proven and the result stood.
Algeria’s current coach Vahid Halilhodzic warned Germany that the African nation had not forgotten the incident, but Low was keen to play down the importance of what happened in 1982 earlier this week.
“It’s not an issue for us. Maybe some on the other side want to make an issue out of it to motivate Algeria,” the Germany coach said.
Low was far more willing to talk about the present at his press conference on the eve of the match at the Estadio Beira-Rio.
The Germany coach, who has been assured he will stay in his job even if his team loses, is wary of complacency creeping into his squad.
Germany hammered Portugal 4-0 in one of the best performances of the tournament a fortnight ago.
But the Germans had to come from behind to draw with Ghana and they then scraped past the United States 1-0 to confirm their status as Group G winners.
After watching Algeria beat South Korea and draw against Russia, Low is wary of the threat that Monday’s opponents could cause.
“If you believe that Algeria is an easy opponent, you are vastly mistaken,” he said.
“They have fantastic ability.
“I have rarely seen teams as physically robust as them.
“They have fast strikers and a strong defence, and they are very compact in a fight.
“The players have a French background, many have been very well trained in France.”