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Algeria coach Rabah Saadane admitted he was surprised at how poorly England played in the 0-0 draw in Cape Town.

The Desert Foxes gained a deserved point, their first in four World Cup games, as England failed to impress.

“I thought they would be better. I don't know what happened and it's up to their coach to draw the necessary conclusions,” said 64-year-old Saadane.

“They were not at their best. We played our game of short passes and skills. England didn't have their day.”

Algeria had failed to impress in their opening game against Slovenia, a 1-0 defeat which condemned them to their fifth loss in six matches.

However, they comfortably dealt with England and in doing so, kept alive their hopes of reaching the last 16.

“I said we'd improve as time went by and that is what is happening and we are also growing in confidence and that is very important,” said Saadane.

“We only have one match left and the situation in the group is still open for every team to qualify.

“We need to use our potential to qualify for the next round.”

Algeria played for a draw – James England 0-0 Algeria

By Phil McNulty, Cape Town
England's World Cup hopes hang in the balance as they were held to a disappointing draw by Algeria after a wretched display in Cape Town .

Fabio Capello's side now need to beat Slovenia on Wednesday to ensure qualification to the knockout stages.

England felt the full force of the fury of the thousands of fans who flooded Cape Town in the vain hope of seeing a performance that improved on their first draw against the United States in Rustenburg.

Instead, they were rewarded with a performance that was the worst of Capello's reign, with Algeria fully deserving the point they celebrated with such elation at the final whistle.

England looked jaded and lacking inspiration, with Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi barely troubled apart from one sharp first-half save from Frank Lampard.

And another major worry for Capello was the desperately poor showing from the player who carries so much of England's World Cup hopes, Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United star has rarely looked so out of sorts for club or country, even struggling to keep the ball under control and wasting possession on a consistent basis.

Rooney also appeared to be struggling with a knock in the closing stages, inflicting more anxiety on Capello as he endured a nightmare on his 64th birthday.

The 24-year-old Rooney was also captured on camera responding angrily to the reaction of the England supporters as he left the field, saying “Nice to see your own fans booing you.”

But Rooney could hardly have expected them to deliver resounding applause after being subjected to such torture from their team for 90 minutes.

England will be grateful to at least still have the opportunity to progress into the knockout stage, but after the thrilling meeting between Slovenia and the United States illuminated Group C only hours earlier, Capello's players succeeded only in throwing a wet blanket over this encounter.

If they do not improve against Slovenia, and there is ample room on this grim evidence, then England will be making a premature departure from the World Cup.

And as if life was not difficult enough Capello will also be forced into yet another change at the back with centre-back Jamie Carragher – in the side after injuries ruled out Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King – picking up a booking which will keep him out of Wednesday's crucial game.

As expected, Capello recalled David James in goal and dropped Robert Green, excluded after his error against the United States in England's opening game and a nervous performance in training on the eve of this meeting with Algeria.

The return of Gareth Barry was designed to give England shape and a midfield foundation – but the first half ranked with the worst served up during Capello's tenure.

Algeria, for long periods, were more comfortable in possession than England, who looked heavy-legged and lacking any spark or inspiration.

It took 29 minutes for England to test Algeria keeper Bolhi, when he fell low to clutch Steven Gerrard's shot, and he was to distinguish himself further three minutes later when he denied Frank Lampard from close range.

Capello was reduced to a frustrated, gesticulating figure in his technical area and his businesslike march to the dressing room at the interval was surely a signal that some brutal truths were about to aimed in the direction of his players.

England's efforts after the break showed no marked improvement, and Capello waited until just after the hour before he could no longer resist the temptation to make a change, sending on Shaun Wright-Phillips for the disappointing Aaron Lennon.

And with 16 minutes left and England lacking ideas, Capello removed Emile Heskey – by no means England's worst performer in this dismal show – and giving Jermain Defoe the opportunity to make an impact.

It was to no avail, and the angry reaction of England's fans at the final whistle delivered the telling verdict on this shambolic showing.

England 0-0 Algeria FT

(HT 0-0)
01 James
02 G Johnson
03 A Cole
06 Terry
18 Carragher Yellow card
04 Gerrard Captain
07 Lennon (Wright-Phillips, 63)
08 Lampard
14 Barry (Crouch, 84)
10 Rooney
21 Heskey (Defoe, 74)
23 M'Bohli
02 Bougherra
03 Belhadj
04 Yahia Captain
05 Halliche
07 Boudebouz (Abdoun, 73)
08 Lacen Yellow card
15 Ziani (Guedioura, 80)
19 Yebda (Mesbah, 88)
21 Kadir
13 Matmour
12 Green,
23 Hart,
05 Dawson,
13 Warnock,
15 Upson,
20 King,
11 J Cole,
16 Milner,
17 Wright-Phillips,
22 Carrick,
09 Crouch,
19 Defoe
01 Gaouaoui,
16 Chaouchi,
12 Bellaid,
14 Laifaoui,
18 Medjani,
06 Mansouri,
17 Guedioura,
20 Mesbah,
22 Abdoun,
09 Ghezzal,
10 Saifi,
11 Djebbour
Venue: Green Point Stadium
Referee: R Irmatov
Attendance: 64,100