PORTO SEGURO, Brazil (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew thinks the “Disgrace of Gijon” was too long ago for Algeria to seek revenge in Monday’s second-round World Cup match in Porto Alegre.
Loew said Saturday that only two of his players were even born at the time of the notorious match at the 1982 World Cup in Spain between Germany and Austria, which ended in a convenient 1-0 win for Germany that eliminated Algeria.
Germany scored in the 10th minute and for the remaining 80 minutes the two teams just knocked the ball around as the result allowed both to advance at the expense of Algeria, which had defeated Germany 2-1 in their opening match.
German Football Federation (DFB) president Wolfgang Niersbach said there had been no pre-game deals between Germany and Austria. After that match, FIFA changed its rules and final group matches have been played simultaneously since then.
Only reserve goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and veteran striker Miroslav Klose were born at the time, Loew said, adding that he saw no reason for Algeria to seek revenge now.
“Why should they be seeking to punish this generation of Germany players? I am irritated by the use of word `revenge,’” Loew told a news conference. “But maybe this will work as motivation for Algeria.”
Germany has played only twice against Algeria and has lost both times. The second was a 2-0 loss in a 1964 friendly in Algeria.
“This is the statistic we want to change,” Loew said.
Loew said anybody who thinks Germany has an easy opponent in its first knockout match was making a “serious mistake.”
“Any lapse now and you are out. Algeria is an extremely aggressive team that runs a lot and is incredibly dangerous. They defend very resolutely,” Loew said.
Loew said he had watched the tape of Algeria’s 1-1 draw with Russia and it seemed possible that Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was disturbed by a green laser beam as he made a mistake that allowed Islam Slimani to score the equalizer that sent Algeria through.
“But it wasn’t because of that that Algeria won. Algeria was at least even, if not the better team throughout the match,” Loew said.
Loew said his own team had room to improve.
“We should convert more opportunities. We are missing that last pass when we attack. There are always things you can improve – but for us, it’s the details, not the fundamentals. A World Cup tournament is like a marathon run, not a 100-meter sprint, you have to be able to step it up at the right moment,” Loew said.
“We know the team can do better but we are confident, we are on fire. When you play a game you have to win, the tension is high.”