Algeria find themselves in a ‘tough scenario,’ according to coach Djamel Belmadi

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi believes his team is in a “very difficult” scenario following a poor start to the Africa Cup of Nations.

The reigning champions have dropped to the bottom of Group E following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea.

To qualify for the last 16, the north Africans must defeat Ivory Coast in their final match on Thursday (16:00 GMT).

“We are in a difficult scenario, one that we have not encountered in a long time,” Belmadi explained.

“I will tell you that we are in a trying time, a truly trying time.”

Against Equatorial Guinea, the Desert Foxes had two goals disallowed for offside and were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Jesus Owonu, who made two saves from Youcef Belaili.

Algeria’s 35-match unbeaten run dating all the way back to October 2018 came to an end with the defeat against a side ranked 114th in the world.

“The ball was adamant about not going in,” Belmadi, 45, added.

“We manufactured circumstances by the dozens, if I’m not mistaken, and none of the opportunities wanted to enter.”

Meanwhile, Algeria right-back Youcef Atal declared the group as a “family” that would rally after defeat in order to qualify for the Cameroon knockout stages.

However, their mission will not be simple, as Ivory Coast now leads the group with four points, Equatorial Guinea has three, and Sierra Leone has two – all four sides are still fighting for qualification.

“We gave everything,” Atal stated. “Occasionally, you will encounter difficult moments such as these. We’ve been collaborating for a while now, and we’ve been winning and playing good games.

Additionally, the 25-year-old stated: “We are a family, and we are aware that we are going through a terrible moment.

“We will continue to work hard and give our all in the next game in the goal of qualifying.”

Source BBC
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