AFCON2019: Algeria coach Belmadi targets AFCON title

AFCON2019: Algeria coach Belmadi targets AFCON title

Head coach of Algeria’s national team Djamel Belmadi says his team hope to win the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.

Belmadi, while reacting to a question from www.aclsports.com‘s Calvin Onwuka during the pre-match press conference of Sunday’s semifinal game against Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium says his team are in Egypt to make history.

“We are running behind this target. It’s a target for us, we want to write our history and these players want to write their histories as well,” said Belmadi, himself a former Algerian international.

“It’s not too far, two more steps but two difficult steps for this huge achievement. We will do our best and try to win this cup but first of all, we have to try to beat Nigeria tomorrow (Sunday).”

The first and last time the Desert Foxes won the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1990 on home soil when they defeated Nigeria in the final in Algiers. Belmadi acknowledges that this would be a more difficult competition to win but they will give it their best.

“Those players you mentioned before (Rabah Madjer, Lakhdar Belloumi), they are great players, massive players, they made history for our football. They played the World Cup 1982, World Cup 1986 and played great games.

“The one (AFCON) that we won was in 1990, long time ago and it was at home. Since then, we’ve never won. This is away from home and it’s more difficult of course,” Belmadi said.

The Algerians are sweating over the fitness of Galatasaray playmaker Sofiane Feghouli and will most definitely be without right back Youcef Atal for Sunday’s game against the Super Eagles which starts at 9:00PM local time (8:00PM in Nigeria).

Fisayo Dairo reporting from Cairo.

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