Wiping tears from his eyes, Algerian coach Vahid Halilhodzic embraced each of his exhausted players as they walked off the pitch after pushing Germany to the very end of extra time.
The Algerians lost 2-1 after extra time Monday after making the three-time World Cup champions struggle for much of the match.
Just reaching the second round had earned Halilhodzic and his squad a place in Algerian football history.
But any pride in reaching the World Cup knockout stage for the first time was soon overshadowed by questions over Halilhodzic's future.
He refused to attend a post-match news conference, contravening tournament regulations.
Asked why, Algerian Football Association official Karder Berdja declined to comment.