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World Cup: Coach Vahid Halilhodzic blasts Algeria critics after win over South Korea in Group H

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic of Algeria during the international friendly against Armenia
Image: Vahid Halilhodzic: Hailed his side's first-half display

Victorious Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic rounded on his critics after seeing his side produce an "almost perfect" first-half display to rekindle their World Cup hopes.

The Algerians bounced back from their narrow 1-0 defeat by Group H rivals Belgium by racing into a 3-0 lead over South Korea before eventually running out 4-2 winners in Porto Alegre.

Victory - their first at a World Cup finals for 32 years - means a draw against Russia in Curitiba on Thursday could see them progress to the knockout stages, something Halilhodzic's detractors thought was beyond them after their opening defeat.

The Bosnian said: "You journalists have always criticised me, but the Algerian fans have always been behind us.

"This is quite paradoxical, but they have never lost confidence in us - you did on the first day. It's a pity, it's a pity for you.

"But this is a present for everybody and I am sorry for you. We have won this match, we played very well, we scored four goals. Maybe you are sad, but this is how it is."

Asked about the criticism, Halilhodzic added: "There were rumours, lies that were told and they even attacked my young family. I am educated and I am ready to keep talking to them, otherwise I could have stopped all together because I don't accept criticism against my young family.

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"But I won't say that I have won this battle for me, I have done it for the Algerian people. The Algerian people have always been overwhelmingly supportive of our team, even when we have lost."

Halilhodzic made five changes to the side beaten by the Belgians and reaped the reward as Algeria raced into a 3-0 lead within 38 minutes through goals from Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou.

Son Heung-min reduced the deficit five minutes after the break, but Yacine Brahimi's 62nd-minute effort meant Koo Ja-cheol's strike 18 minutes from time counted for little.

Halilhodzic said: "We played an almost perfect first period. We played very well, very effectively and then it went down a little bit - maybe it was psychological, maybe it was physical - we will have to talk about this.

"But I think that this was a real feat this afternoon and I would like to congratulate my players."

South Korea coach Hong Myung-bo apologised to his side's fans and promised that they would do everything within their powers to address the problems they encountered ahead of the decisive clash with Belgium in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

He said: "In the stadium today, there were a lot of Korean fans and I would like to apologise to them.

"We have one game left and I would just like to promise that we will do our best for the next match."

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