Goalkeeper shines for Algeria in World Cup loss

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm •  Published: June 30, 2014
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PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — A bullet from Bastian Schweinsteiger.

A prodigious effort from Philipp Lahm.

An on-target header from Thomas Mueller.

Algeria's unsung goalkeeper stopped everything that came his way for 91 minutes. And even when three-time champion Germany finally scored in extra time and went on to win 2-1 to reach the World Cup quarterfinals, Rais M'Bolhi was not at fault.

That was why Rais — which means leader in Arabic — was voted man of the match on Monday.

"We were ready," said Rais, who plays for Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia. "No one believed we would reach this stage."

It was the first time Algeria had reached the knockout phase after three previous appearances at the World Cup.

"We've entered the history of Algerian football," Rais said.

Rais, it should be remembered, had shined before at the World Cup.

Four years ago in South Africa, he kept a clean sheet during a 0-0 draw with England and conceded only one goal in two matches played — a stoppage-time score from Landon Donovan in a 1-0 loss to the United States.