July 5, 2022

FIFA WCQ: Algeria’s Belmadi determined to bounce back from poor AFCON show

By Allan Damba
Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi and captain Riyadh Mahrez | Courtesy photo

Algeria head coach Djamel Belmadi has expressed his desire to make a quick bounce from the abysmal 2021 AFCON show as they prepare for Cameroon in the FIFA World Cup final playoff.

The Desert Foxes did not make it out of the group stages in the AFCON in January but will be keen on beating the Indomitable Lions over two legs to qualify for their fifth-ever World Cup.

The tactician stated his team is eager to make people happy with their performance after a failed expedition in Cameroon.

“We want to make our people happy. A qualification will allow us to prepare in euphoria. I wanted to do this job to play in a World Cup,” Belmadi said in a press conference, via Foot Mercato as quoted by Goal.

“This is the last time we have a World Cup in this configuration,” the tactician added.

Belmadi’s side last qualified for the global football tournament in Brazil in 2014. There, they crashed out after the Round of 16 after losing 2-1 to eventual winners Germany.

Algeria visit the Japoma Stadium, Douala, Cameroon for the first leg on March 25 before welcoming the Indomitable Lions to Blida’s Mustapha Tchaker Stadium four days later.

ALGERIA FULL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Rais M’Bolhi (Al-Etiffaq), Alexandre Oukidja (Metz), Moustapha Zeghba (Damac FC)

Defenders: Aissa Mandi (Villarreal), Abdelkader Bedrane (Espérance Tunis), Mehdi Tahrat (Al-Gharafa), Djamel Benlamri (Qatar SC), Ahmed Touba (RKC Waalwijk), Youcef Atal (Nice), Houcine Benayada (ES Sahel), Youcef Laouafi (ES Sahel), Ramy Bensebaini (Mönchengladbach)

Midfielders: Ramiz Zerrouki (Twente), Hichem Boudadoui (Nice), Sofiane Bendebka (Al Fateh), Adlene Guedioura (Burton Albion), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray), Ismaël Bennacer (AC Milan)

Forwards: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City), Rachid Ghezzal (Besiktas), Youcef Belaïli (Brest), Mohamed Benyettou (Al-Wakrah SC), Ishak Belfodil (Hertha Berlin), Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon)

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