Saturday, November 27, 2021

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Mehdi Cerbah, star of Algeria’s 1982 World Cup run, dies at 68

Former Algerian goalkeeper Mehdi Cerbah, part of the team that famously beat West Germany in a major World Cup upset in 1982, died Friday aged 68 after a long illness, official media reported.

Cerbah started his career in 1969 at USM Alger before joining JS Kabylie in 1972, playing eight seasons before moving to RC Kouba until 1982.

But he is best remembered for his 62 international caps, including as part of the team that snatched a shock 2-1 victory against the Germans in the group stages of the World Cup in Spain.

That contest was followed by the “Disgrace of Gijon”, widely seen as one of the most disgraceful matches in World Cup history.

The North Africans had beaten Chile the day before, so the Germans needed to win to progress and their opponents needed to avoid defeat by more than two goals to join them.

West Germany and Austria both qualified at the expense of Algeria in a contrived 1-0 German victory with both sides going through the motions.

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