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Soccer-Algeria match interrupted after bottle-throwing incident


By Brian Homewood

GENEVA, June 4 (Reuters) - Algeria and Romania took an early halftime break in their friendly match at the Stade de Geneva on Wednesday after a plastic bottle was thrown onto the field.

The Swiss referee stopped the game in the 43rd minute with the score at 1-1 and, amid general confusion, led the teams off the field and spoke to Algeria officials on the touchline.

Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodvic, whose team are one of five African sides to have qualified for the World Cup in Brazil, then walked to the centre circle and warned fans the match would be abandoned if there was further trouble.

Shortly afterwards, another announcement was made saying the players would take their 15 minute halftime break and return to play the remainder of the first half. They would then change ends and start the second half immediately.

Around 15,000 Algerian fans created a raucous atmosphere at the stadium, jeering the Romanian national anthem before the game and setting off pyrotechnics after their team took the lead against opponents who failed to qualify for the World Cup.

That also prompted a brief interruption as smoke filled the stadium.

The crowd appeared noticeably calmer when the players reappeared and the first half ended 1-1.

(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Alan Baldwin)

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