AFCON 2021: ‘We must win against Cote d’Ivoire to continue the competition’ – Algeria’s Belmadi

Algeria national team head coach Djamel Belmadi has confessed that his side have no choice apart from winning their last group stage game if they are to continue with the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The Desert Warriors will lock horns with Cote d’Ivoire at Douala Stadium on Thursday in a ‘Do or Die’ encounter for Algeria.

Meanwhile Les Elephants need a point to secure their place in the Round of 16.

Cote d’Ivoire leads the group on four points, one more than Equatorial Guinea. Sierra Leone has two points while Algeria has just one point on the bottom of the table.

Highly pitted to retain their title after a long unbeaten series, Algeria are on the verge of a shocking premature exit with a lone point from their first two games.

A win only will make Djamel Belmadi’s team survive the scare of seeing history repeating itself.

“This match could be an early final. On Thursday against Cote d’Ivoire, we have no choice. We must win to continue the competition,” Belmadi said.

“And we’re going to put all the ingredients for that. Algeria just lacked efficiency during this tournament. About the pressure, we have had it since taking office in 2018.”

“All our matches have been played with pressure, but we have to positively feel this feeling,” he added.

Meanwhile, a draw will be enough for the Elephants to go through, but they know it’s a tough mission against the defending champions.

However, according to head coach Patrice Beaumelle, they are aiming for three points to avoid calculations.

“Even if our four points can qualify us, we are not here to make calculations. We are going to play to win,” he said.

“Our match against Algeria is a final like the one between Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, but we prefer to focus on our match.”

“We are counting on our goalkeeper Badra Ali. If he is fit, we will trust him because he has already done great things for us,” he added.

Elsewhere in group E, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea are eyeing a historic lace in the second round, which would be the first ever for Leone Stars and third in as many appearances for Nzalang Nacional.

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