Algerian head coach Djamel Belmadi says his side must be at their best , if they are to reach the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Desert Foxes defeated Ivory Coast in the quarter final to set up another mouthwatering clash with the Super Eagles, and Belmadi has tagged the Nigerians bigger threat to his country‘s ambition of lifting the trophy for the first time since 1990.
“We played against Ivory Coast, but we have tried to recover in time for our semifinal game against Nigeria, “Belmadi told a news conference in Cairo on Saturday.
“It is a semifinal game and we must be well prepared much more than normal. Defensively, we have to be on top of our game against a difficult Nigerian side with good players. We will not divulge our tactical plans here.”
Belmadi dismissed Nigerian Coach Gernot Rohr statement, who tagged Desert Foxes the favourites ahead of the game, the tactician added that it’s a level playing ground for four teams.
“The semifinal is an equal stage for the four teams remaining in the competition. There are no favourites for now in the competition. Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal all have equal chances of winning,” he added.
Algeria defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the final of the 1990 edition , but the country has not moved close to winning the competition again, however, Belmadi admitted that his boys are thinking of writing their own history back home.
“We won the AFCON title at home in 1990 and it has become more difficult to win it since then. We had great players who won it then.“
“The players here want to create their own history too. It will be great to do that, but we have to beat Nigeria first and then win the final.” he concluded.
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