Algeria Target A Better Showing Against Equatorial Guinea
Algeria will be looking for an improved performance when they take on Equatorial Guinea in their second Group E match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
The Fennec Foxes got their Africa Cup of Nations title defence off to a slow start after they were held 0-0 by Sierra Leone in their opening match. It was a performance lacking precision and penetration from the North Africans.
Algeria, who recently went all the way in December’s Arab Cup, are yet to taste defeat across all competitions since a 3-0 defeat to Morocco three years ago.
In that time, the 2019 champions have come out on top in all but six of their 27 outings while also recording 14 clean sheets and scoring 79 goals.
The Desert Foxes are also aiming at matching Egypt as the second team to ever win two successive Afcon titles. They are favourites to advance from Group E which also has Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.
Coach Djamel Belmadi will look for more from his star-studded side, particularly Riyad Mahrez and Yacine Brahimi, while there will be the temptation to play striker Sofiane Bendebka-who so clearly gives them a powerful focal point in attack – will also come into consideration.
Equatorial Guinea had the opposite beginning to their Africa Cup of Nations; they put in a strong performance against Ivory Coast but were unlucky to lose 1-0 in Douala.
The Nzalang Nacional created plenty of good scoring opportunities but either failed to finish off or were denied by an excellent goalkeeping performance from Manuel Sapunga.
Assistant coach Napo Casto was rightly proud of the performances of Nzalang Nacional, who must have some of the most passionate fans at the tournament, but he’ll need more from his players when they come up against Algeria, particularly attackers such as Emilio Nsue and Dorian Hanza.
“We played well with clear chances. We have failed to make them happen. Now, we must start the work tomorrow to correct the mistakes made and come with more certainty against Algeria on Sunday,” said Casto.
“Like Cote d’Ivoire, this Algerian team is among the favorites, but we have the means to go for the victory. A game that is never like another.”
Meanwhile, this will be the first meeting between the two nations and is set to be staged at 19h00 GMT and the venue at Japoma Stadium in Douala on Sunday evening.