Algeria to face South Korea in May 2018 friendly

Algerian player Yacine Brahimi (R) fights for the ball with Zambian player Enock Mwepu (L) during the World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Algeria and Zambia in Constantine, Algeria on 05 September 2017 © BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 26, 2017. 14:00

Algeria will face South Korea in an international friendly in May 2018, according to Le Buteur.

World Cup qualifiers Korea are looking to secure matches against teams they may face in the finals in Russia.

And with three North African teams having secured passage to the global tournament – Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco – Algeria represent a team with a similar style of play.

Le Buteur reports that the match against Korea is confirmed for May, though the final details must still be buttoned down.

It is expected to be played in a European country, with the Asian side set to camp in the continent ahead of the tournament in Russia in June and July.

Panama and Costa Rica – two further 2018 qualifiers – are also keen on meeting Algeria in friendlies, though these matches could be brought forward to the international window in March.

The Fennec Foxes and coach Rabah Madjer will use the matches as preparation for the resumption of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the second half of 2018.

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Algeria coach: We had a very good match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Algerian head coach, Rabah Madjer during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Algeria and Nigeria at Chahid-Hamlaoui stadium in Constantine, Algeria, 10 November 2017.

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 15:30

Algeria coach Rabah Madjer was a happy man after watching his team defeat Central African Republic 3-0 in an international friendly at the 5th of July Stadium in Algiers on Tuesday evening.

Two goals from Yacine Brahimi and a late strike by Islam Slimani secured a comfortable victory for the Fennec Foxes in Madjer’s second game in charge since succeeding Lucas Alcaraz.

It followed a few days on from their 1-1 draw with Nigeria in Constantine in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.

“We had a very good match. We were tactically strong. We have created many opportunities. We dominated the opponent who was solid, especially on the physical level and even in the middle of the field. We scored three goals, it’s a good thing for morale,” said Madjer after the match.

The new coach added, “Honestly, I’m happy with the victory because we played attractively, and also for the reaction of the players because they have suffered a lot of pressure lately, but I can tell you that I am not 100 percent satisfied. We still have to work to do.”

Madjer also pointed to Nigeria’s victory over Argentina, and the fact that his team held the Super Eagles, as evidence of progress. He also wants the team’s critics to remain silent for now.

“Nigeria’s result in the friendly match against Argentina shows that we are on the right path. We tied against Nigeria after we were led,” explained the coach.

“We had a good match and today’s result proves that we are progressing well. It’s enough to help us. Even those who are against us must help us by their silence.”

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Referee explains why he gave a penalty in the Nigeria versus Algeria World Cup qualifier clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 14:30

After handing the Algerians a penalty against Nigeria in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday, Gabonese referee Eric Otogo-Castane has explained his decision.

Although it was seen as a controversial penalty, Otogo-Castane says he was guided by the new laws of the game as defender Abdullahi Shehu was adjudged to have fouled Yacine Brahaimi in the box.

The Super Eagles claimed a point as they scored through John Ogu, but the replays suggest that Shehu didn’t do much to warrant a penalty being awarded.


”Expectedly, we asked questions after the game and the referee explained to us that the decision was taken based on a newly introduced law into the game, which allows for intention to be punished”, the NFF board member told

”He interpreted Shehu’s intention to impede the man, who stayed on his feet instead of going down from the tackle. ‎

“The fact that the Algerian attacker Brahaimi didn’t go down is what made the decision to look like the wrong call according to him.

”Let’s be frank he did his best considering the atmosphere he was under and especially after turning down numerous attempt by the Algerians to con him into giving them a penalty.

”Maybe Brahaimi should have been sent off before the incident which lead to the goal, but I guess he didn’t want to lose grip of the match, which a red card to the Algerian captain would have triggered.

“It’s called game management and we understand his explanation.“

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We could not have asked for more – Algeria coach Rabah Madjer – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Islam SLIMANI of Algeria Challenged by Leon BALOGUN (L) and William EKONG(R) of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium
©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 11:00

Algeria coach Rabah Madjer has said he could not have asked for more from his team after they held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in their final 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The teams played to a stalemate in Constantine on Friday evening, with Yacine Brahimi’s late penalty cancelling out John Ogu’s opener just past the hour mark.

The result was only academic, with the Super Eagles having already secured qualification before the match, while Algeria ended bottom of the group despite the point earned.

Yet new coach Madjer, who has recently succeeded Spaniard Lucas Alcaraz, was satisfied with what he saw.

“Frankly, we could not ask more of this team. We faced a very tough team from Nigeria, who did not let it go despite their World Cup qualification earned even before this match,” the Fennec Foxes coach told a post-match press conference, as quoted by Le Buteur.

“We tried to develop our game despite the difficulties. That said, I think that what I saw tonight, the future of this selection looks bright.

“There are many positive things to remember, though, I repeat, not everything has been perfect.

”I think this draw is satisfying even if we could have won if we had converted the opportunities we got, especially in the second half.”

Algeria and Nigeria will both be in action this coming midweek when they play international friendlies against Central African Republic and Argentina respectively.

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Yacine Brahimi helps Algeria hold Nigeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Yacine BRAHIMI of Algeria challenged by Alexander IWOBI of Nigeria during the Russia 2018 World Cup Qualifier match between Nigeria vs Algeria on November, 12th 2016 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium
©Kabiru Abubakar//Backpagepix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 23:46

Algeria and Nigeria drew 1-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiaction (CAF) Group B match at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui on Friday night.

The draw sees Algeria finish the qualifying campaign winless, while Nigeria, who are the Group B winners, will take part in next year’s finals in Russia.

The Desert Warriors should have broken the deadlock through England-based centre forward Islam Slimani a minute into the match.

But the striker’s header from the centre of the box missed the target following a good cross by Zinedine Ferhat, who plays for Le Havre in France.

The Super Eagles also threatened through Tony Nwakaeme, who was making his debut for Nigeria, in the 15th minute as the visitors looked to take the lead.

The striker’s right footed shot from outside the box was well saved by Algeria’s 33-year-old goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi.

Algeria were then forced to make a change on the half-hour mark as Ayoub Abdellaoui replaced Chemseddine Nessakh, who was injured.

The last chance of the first-half for Nwakaeme and was denied by Chaouchi on the stroke of half-time and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

Chaouchi was called into action 10 minutes after the restart and he pulled off a great save to deny Nigerian attacker Alex Iwobi.

Aissa Mandi, the Algeria midfielder, had a glorious opportunity to make it 1-0 to his side in the 61st minute, but he headed over the crossbar close range.

The hosts were left to rue that missed chance as Nigeria broke the dealdlock a minute later through John Ogu, who scored with a beautiful left-footed long range shot to make it 1-0 to Nigeria.

It was end-to-end stuff in the closing stages of the match as Slimani missed the target from close range with Nigeria keeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa well-beaten.

Algeria were then awarded a late penalty after Yacinie Brahimi was fouled in the box and forward stepped up, and beat Ezenwa to ensure that the game ended in a 1-1 a draw.

Algeria (0) 1 (Brahimi 88′)

Nigeria (0) 1 (Ogu 62′)

Algeria XI: Haouchi, Mandi, Cadamuro, Chafaï, Nessakh (Abdellaoui 30′), Medjani, Ferhat, Bennacer (Boundjah 75′), Mahrez (Hanni 65′) Brahimi, Slimani.

Nigeria XI: Ezenwa, Abdullahi, Ola Aina, Balogun, Ekong, Etebo, J.Ogu, Ndidi, Nwakeme (Onyekuru 70′), Iwobi (Musa 81′), Iheanacho.

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2018 World Cup Qualifier: Algeria 1-1 Nigeria – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Alex Iwobi of Nigeria (l) celebrates his goal with Kelechi Iheanacho during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 23:24

Algeria finish their qualifying campaign having failed to win a single match. Nigeria, who have qualified for the World Cup as Group B winners, finish the qualifying campaign unbeaten.


Algeria XI: Haouchi, Mandi, Cadamuro, Chafaï, Nessakh, Medjani, Ferhat, Bennacer, Mahrez, Brahimi, Slimani.

Nigeria XI: Ezenwa, Abdullahi, Ola Aina, Balogun, Ekong, Etebo, J.Ogu, Ndidi, Nwakeme, Iwobi, Iheanacho.


FULL-TIME: Algeria 1-1 Nigeria.

90′ – The fourth official has added four minutes.

88′ – GOAL! Brahimi. Algeria 1-1 Nigeria. Brahimi coverts from the spot-kick.

85′ – Algeria are awarded a penalty after Brahimi was fouled in the Nigeria box.

81′ – Nigeria sub: Musa IN, Iwobi OUT.

80′ – Nigeria are looking to contain Algeria in the closing stages of this encounter.

75′ – Algeria sub: Boundjah IN, Bennacer OUT.

70′ – Algeria are now applying some pressure on the Nigeria defence.

65′ – CHANCE! Algeria striker Slimani misses the target from close range with Nigeria keeper Ezenwa well beaten.

62′ – GOAL! Algeria 0-1 Nigeria. Ogu nets with a long range effort.

55′ – Algeria keeper Chaouchi makes a good save to deny Nigeria forward Iwobi.

50′ – Algeria attackers Slimani and Mahrez are both fouled in the middle of the park as the hosts look to break the deadlock.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

45′ – The fourth official has added one minute.

42′ – CAUTION: Ogu is booked (Nigeria).

40′ – Five minutes left before half-time and it is still 0-0 here in Constantine.

35′ – Ferhat tries a through ball, but his Alegria team-mate Slimani is caught offside.

30′ – Algeria sub: Abdellaoui IN, Nessakh OUT.

25′ – Algeria and Nigeria have shown some initiative going forward, but the two goalkeepers are yet to be seriously tested.

20′ – Ndidi pushes forward and he unleashes a shot which is blocked as we approach the half-hour mark.

15′ – Algeria forward Mahrez bursts into the Nigeria box, but his Leicester City FC team-mate Ndidi stops him.

10′ – Nigeria are dominating possession as they look to break the deadlock.
5′ – Algeria winger Mahrez’s free-kick is easily saved by Nigeria keeper Ezenwa.

1′ – The match is underway.

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NFF president: Gernot Rohr will field best XI against Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 17:00

Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick has emphasised that national team coach Gernot Rohr will pick his best available XI for the match against Algeria.

The Super Eagles will take on the North Africans in Constantine on November 10 for their final Group B 2018 World Cup qualifier, followed by a friendly against Argentina four days later in Russia.

Nigeria have already secured qualification for the 2018 finals, making the match against Algeria little more than academic. However, Pinnick insists the Super Eagles will field their strongest team.

“The temptation is there to rest on oars because we have already qualified,” the NFF president told his organisation’s official website.

“But we would not do that. I am happy the technical crew led by the Technical Adviser has already made it known they would be fielding Nigeria’s best squad on the day.

“The Secretariat must quickly finalise all arrangements. The match in Constantine must be seen as a FIFA World Cup preparation match, just like the one against Argentina in Russia four days later.

“We will go with our best and give our best, to get in the FIFA World Cup mood.”

While Nigeria will field their best available players, the likes of Odion Ighalo, Victor Moses and Elderson Echiejile are unavailable, while Leon Balogun is doubtful.

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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr to name 25 players for Algeria and Argentina clashes – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 16:30

According to Nigerian Football Federation’s spokesperson Toyin Ibitoye, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr will release a squad of 25 players for the Algeria and Argentina clashes.

The 2013 African champions will face the Desert Warriors in their final 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier and face the Albiceleste in a friendly next month.

Rohr will release a list of 25 players on Monday with two on standby for the games versus Algeria on November 10 and 14 against Argentina respectively.

Ibitoye confirmed to that the list will be made up of players who have been in the team.

”Some players are going to be recalled, but that doesn’t mean new names. For now the coach is sticking with the players he has been working with the past few months”, Ibitoye said.

”Some players are presently injured so they won’t be in the list, but overall it will be made up of same players who have been working with the coach the past few months.

”The idea is to put out a formidable team for the game against Algeria and later Argentina.

“A good showing in both games will help our ranking with FIFA, which will play in our advantage during the World Cup draws in December.“

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No amicable separation for Algeria and Lucas Alcaraz – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 10:30

Despite almost two weeks having passed since Algeria fired national team coach Lucas Alcaraz, no agreement on the separation has been reached.

The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) showed the Spanish coach the door earlier this month following a defeat to Cameroon in their penultimate 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The FAF moved quickly to appoint Rabah Madjer as Alcaraz’s replacement, and although this complication does not threaten the new coach’s position, it is nonetheless an awkward situation.

Le Buteur reports that FAF president Kheireddine Zetchi offered Alcaraz an amicable parting package, with the prospect of an extra two to three months salary thrown in if the parties agreed to a cancellation of the contract.

However, the Spaniard has refused this and now has the option of taking the dispute over what he views as an unfair dismissal to the world governing body FIFA.

The issue stems from the details of Alcaraz’s contract with the FAF, which states that his primary objective was the qualify the team to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

This qualification campaign has seen only one round played in the final group stage, and Algeria got off to a positive start by beating Togo 1-0 back in June. The qualifiers will only resume in March next year.

As for the 2018 qualifiers – in which Algeria are guaranteed to finish bottom of their group and have been out of the running for Russia since last month – there was no stipulation in Alcaraz’s contract.

As a result, the axed coach is reportedly determined to fight his dismissal and win compensation back from the FAF.

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Algeria to try and woo Lyon youngster Houssem Aouar – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 14:00

Algeria Football Federation (FAF) boss Kheireddine Zetchi will reportedly try to convince Olympique Lyon youngster Houssem Aouar to play for the Fennec Foxes at international level.

Aouar, 19, has caught the eye for Lyon this season, with the attacking midfielder earning rave reviews for his technical skill and vision.

Aouar was born and raised in Lyon, France, and has represented the European country at U-17 level.

However, he is of Algerian descent and Le Buteur reports that he is likely to welcome an approach from the FAF.

Changing his international allegiance will also be a relatively easy process, as he has not represented France’s junior teams in any competitive fixtures.

The teenager has even earned praise from former Lyon star Karim Benzema: “This player, I like him. He is technical, he has a good vision. If he works, he can go far,” said the Real Madrid star.

OL goalkeeper Anthony Lopes also sees great things in Aouar’s future: “I’m not at all surprised by his performances,” he told RMC.

“He’s been working with the pro group for two years now. He has fully seized his chance and shows his qualities on the field.

“He has the talent, he is very intelligent, he is laid and I think he will make a very good career.”

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Algeria confirm Rabah Madjer as new coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Riyad Karim Mahrez of Algeria celebrates a goal with teammates during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Zimbabwe on the 15 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 10:00

The Algerian Football Federation (FAF) has confirmed that Rabah Madjer has been appointed as their new national team manager.

Madjer, 58, is the fifth coach to take charge of the Fennec Foxes in the past three years and succeeds Spaniard Lucas Alcaraz, who was sacked earlier this month after Algeria’s elimination from the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Madjer is a legendary former Algerian national team player and has had multiple spells in charge of the North African side, the most recent of which ended in 2002 with an early exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Madjer has been tasked with securing qualification for the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon, though his first game in charge will be the dead-rubber World Cup qualifier against Group B winners and Russia-bound Nigeria next month.

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Saadane, Madjer to lead Algeria into new era – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 16, 2017. 11:30

Following the dismissal of Lucas Alcaraz as Algeria coach last week, the country’s Football Federation (FAF) has moved to install a new leadership structure.

Rabah Madjer will be the new coach of the Fennec Foxes, while Rabah Saadane has already been confirmed as the new technical director of the FAF.

The Federation president Kheireddine Zetchi has moved quickly to try and remodel the national team following their disastrous 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Not only will Algeria miss out on Russia 2018, but they will finish bottom of Group B regardless of their result against already-qualified Nigeria next month.

Saadane, who has had several spells in charge of the national team and oversaw their successful qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, made certain demands before signing with the FAF.

According to Le Buteur, Saadane “will have carte blanche to put in place his strategy for the revival of national football. He will have a right to look at the selections of young people, and will oversee the various surveys that will take place across the country in the future”.

He will also work closely with Madjer, another who has had multiple spells in charge of Algeria. The former Porto star is set to be the head of an expanded technical team, which is also likely to include Djamel Menad and Meziane Ighil.

The new Fennec Foxes leadership has set themselves the goal of reaching the semifinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

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I’m proud of my players – Algeria coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 13:00

Despite a 2-0 loss to Cameroon this past weekend, Algeria coach Lucas Alcaraz insists he is proud of players.

The Fennec Foxes were beaten by the Indomitable Lions in Yaounde to suffer their fourth successive defeat in Group B of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The match may have been a dead rubber – with both Algeria and Cameroon out of the running for Russia 2018 – but it still piled further pressure on Alcaraz.

Nonetheless, the Spanish coach insisted that his team put up a good performance, with only individual mistakes costing them the match.

“I think we have provided a great performance today against Cameroon,” Alcaraz said after the match, as quoted by Le Buteur.

“Unfortunately, we made many mistakes that the opponent took advantage of to win this game.

“For example, Cameroon’s first goal came on one of our mistakes. We also failed to realise our goal opportunities.

“Of course I cannot be satisfied after a defeat, but I feel that we have not been second best in the game.

“It is the mistakes made that did not allow us to achieve the goal for which we came here in Cameroon.”

The Algeria coach added, “It is clear that one cannot be satisfied after a defeat. But I’m proud of the performance of my players.

“They showed a lot of will and seriousness in the game. They tried everything on the pitch. Unfortunately, the final outcome of the game was not favorable.”

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Broos: Cameroon showed character against Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Staff Reporter

Monday Oct 09, 2017. 12:00

Cameroon head coach Hugo Broos says his charges showed character against Algeria on Saturday.

The Indomitable Lions secured a 2-0 win over Algeria in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) Group B match.

Clinton N’Jie and Franck Pangop scored Cameroon’s two goals at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé.

Cameroon and Algeria both went into the match having already failed to qualify for the finals.

“Everything is a matter of confidence, even in the big clubs there are moments of decline,” Broos told Camer-Sport.

The Belgian tactician was also happy with Pangop’s mentality against the Desert Foxes of Algeria.

“We were able to show our strength of character. The players have been in solidarity,” he said.

“The players have shown that they are a team which is good overall.

“Pangop has shown good things in training. He is okay mentally,” he concluded.

Cameroon and Algeria will take on Zambia and Nigeria, who are the group winners, respectively in their last Group B games next month.

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Cameroon beat Algeria in Group B dead-rubber – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Cameroon forward Clinton N’jie

Bertin Basson

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 20:49

Algeria suffered a fourth defeat in succession as Cameroon claimed all three points in a 2018 FIFA World Cup (CAF) qualifier at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé in on Saturday, for their maiden win of the campaign.

Clinton Njié and Franck Pangop on target for the reigning African champions, in a tussle that was purely a formality with both teams playing for pride and nothing else.

It has been a dire qualifying campaign for two of Africa’s big guns and the result painted another gloomy picture for the Fennec Foxes, who boast a mere point from five matches.

El Arabi Soudani had a day to forget for the visitors, with the North African’s without Leicester City duo Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez after they were axed from the squad.

Njié – back for Cameroon – had a more memorable outing and opened the scoring after 25 minutes, pouncing on a defensive error to give the hosts the lead.

Pangop made sure of all three points on the cusp of full-time, as he found the back of the net a minute after emerging off the bench in place of French-based Njié.

In Uyo, Nigeria confirmed their place at next year’s showpiece in Russia following a 1-0 win over Zambia. Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi with the only goal of the encounter.

Cameroon (1) 2 (Njié 25′ Pangop 88′)

Algeria (0) 0

Cameroon: Ondoa; Zambo Anguissa, Teikeu, Ngadeu Ngadjui, Siani, Olinga (Ngamaleu 82′), Fai, Leuko, Bassogog (Mandjecl 73′), Aboubakar, Njie (Pangop 87′)

Algeria: Mbolhi; Mandi, Cadamuro, Taider (Bennacer 60′), Hanni (Ferhat 71′), Feghouli (Ghezzal 75′), Fares, Benguit, Bensebaini, Soudani, Belfodil

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Algeria to face Cameroon without Mahrez & Slimani – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Islam Slimani of Algeria shoots at goal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Algeria and Tunisia at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 12:00

Algeria will be without Riyad Mahrez, Nabil Bentaleb and Islam Slimani when they lock horns with Cameroon in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier this weekend.

This is after Algeria suffered home and away defeats against Zambia in their last qualifiers which ended their hopes of reaching next year’s finals. As a result, the Algerian Football Federation stated that they would try out new players for the last two qualifiers.

The match between Algeria and the reigning African champions Cameroon, who also saw their hopes of qualifying ending last month, will be played at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé on Saturday.

Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and the Desert Foxes are placed third and fourth respectively on the Group B standings. Group leaders Nigeria will qualify if they beat Zambia in Uyo on Saturday.

Algeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Raïs M’Bolhi (Stade Rennes, France), Abdelkadir Salhi (CR Belouizdad, Algeria), Toufik Moussaoui (Paradou AC, Algeria).

Defenders: Mohamed Fares (Hellas Verona, Italy), Faouzi Ghoulam (SSC Napoli, Italy), Rami Bensebaini (Stade Rennes, France), Aïssa Mandi (Real Betis, Spain), Abdelkader Bedrane (ES Sétif, Algeria), Liassine Cadamuro-Bentaiba (Nîmes Olympique, France), Farouk Chafai (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Feghouli (Galatasaray SK, Turkey), Zinedine Ferhat (Le Havre AC, France).

Midfielders: Raouf Benguit (USM Alger, Algeria), Sofiane Bendebka (MC Alger, Algeria), Saphir Taider (Bologna FC, Italy), Sofiane Daham (FC Sochaux, France).

Forwards: Hilal El Arabi Soudani (GNK Dinamo Zagreb, Croatia), Rachid Ghezzal (AS Monaco, France), Abderrahmane Meziane (USM Alger, Algeria), Yacine Brahimi (FC Porto, Portugal), Sofiane Hanni (RSC Anderlecht, Belgium), Ishak Belfodil (SV Werder Bremen, Germany), Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger, Germany).

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Guy Roux: Lucas Alcaraz is the wrong coach for Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 11:00

Lucas Alcaraz is not the right coach for the Algerian national team, according to legendary French manager Guy Roux.

Spaniard Alcaraz has come under huge criticism since taking over the Fennec Foxes earlier this year, with calls for the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) to fire him following recent back-to-back defeats at the hands of Zambia which put them out of contention for next year’s World Cup.

Roux, who famously coached French club AJ Auxerre for over 40 years, was surprised at Algeria’s elimination from the Russia 2018 qualifiers and believes the Fennec Foxes have not thrived under Alcaraz because of the culture and language barriers.

The veteran French coach told Le Buteur that Algeria found themselves in an incredibly tough group (alongside Nigeria, Zambia and Cameroon), but still believes they under-performed given the talent at their disposal.

“I find that Algeria found itself in an ultra difficult group,” said Roux.

“Nigeria in football has a very old potential with qualifications at the World Cup and players of great value. Taribo West, whom I trained, but also players like [Jay-Jay] Okocha.

“Zambia won the CAN [Africa Cup of Nations] 2012 and has some very good players and Cameroon, who won the last CAN and who is also used to playing World Cups. It was not easy!”

Roux added, “On the choice of the coach, there is to be fault.

“In my opinion, it is easier to respect the cultural aspect. The Algerians are of French culture and speak for the majority French.

“So it is more desirable that their coach be an Algerian, for example, a former player, or a Frenchman.

“A Spanish or German coach, he is more likely to miss out on. He will not understand your players.”

Roux’s compatriot Rolland Courbis has been strongly linked with the Algerian post and the veteran backs the appointment of the former USM Alger manager.

“Courbis is a phenomenon. He trained in Algeria and knows the mentality of the Algerian player,” explained Roux.

“I think he won the cup there [Ed – Courbis won the 2013 Algerian Cup and 2013 UAFA Club Cup with USMA]. He is a man who will succeed one blow over two or four years.

“He is an extremely intelligent man. He also knows how to collaborate with journalists and this is very important in a country like Algeria where the fervor around football is enormous.”

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Zetchi: Mahrez, Slimani & Bentaleb not ruled out of Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Islam Slimani of Algeria shoots at goal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Algeria and Tunisia at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 21, 2017. 16:00

The trio of Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Nabil Bentaleb have not been fully ruled out of Algeria’s national team set-up, according to the country’s Football Federation (FAF) president Kheireddine Zetchi.

Le Buteur reported earlier in the week that the three players are set to be left out of Algeria’s next squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroon next month.

This is after Zetchi and the FAF have called on coach Lucas Alcaraz to rebuild the national team. Algeria notably fell out of contention for Russia 2018 by losing back-to-back matches against Zambia in the last international window.

“Mahrez, Slimani and Bentaleb are players who have contributed a great deal to [the Algerian team] and I am convinced that they can still bring it to the future,” Zetchi told Le Buteur.

“It is true that we spoke of a revolution after the defeat against Zambia suffered at Constantine, but this revolution spreads over several phases.

“It does not have to be done only by changes of players. It must be operated on all levels.

“Organisational, rules of procedure, the attitude that the players must have. It is a whole. What is certain, is that these players are not definitely ruled out.”

The FAF president added that the coach will make the final decision in regards to selection, and that the time is right to widen their pool of available players.

“I cannot understand this controversy regarding the non-selection of some players.

“I wish to make it clear that the non-summoning of these players does not in any way constitute a dismissal.

“It is the current context of selection that has led us to make these decisions. Given that we are already eliminated from the World Cup race, we believe it is time to rebuild a new team.

“We want to see other players. Also, I would like to emphasise that these decisions were taken by Alcaraz. The expanded list, he introduced it.”

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Algeria crash and burn at the hands of Zambia – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 05, 2017. 23:42

Algeria have crashed and burned at the hands of Zambia who beat them 1-0 in a Group B, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine on Tuesday night.

The loss leaves Algeria rooted at the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with one point to their name and unable to qualify for Russia.

The same can also be said for Cameroon who are third in Group B with three points following their 1-1 draw with Nigeria, on Monday.

The win for Zambia sees them keep up their pressure on Nigeria in Group B – the Southern African side has seven points, three behind leaders Nigeria.

Algeria controlled the flow of the game early on and should have taken the lead in the 16th minute, but Riyad Mahrez failed to score from a penalty sport.

Algeria suffered a further set-back in the 24th minute when goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Abdelkadir Salhi.

The disruption in the Algerian team allowed the hard fighting Zambians a chance to claw their way back into a match.

Zambia began seeing more of the ball and pressed forward in their aggressive attacking nature, but they could not find any goals before the half time break.

The visiting Southern Africans came out the tunnel a much better looking side and seemed ready to cause an upset in Constantine.

Algeria’s Youcef Attal looked to be struggling in the middle of the park and he was quickly replaced by Adam Ounas in the 54th minute.

Zambia responded directly to counter that substitution when Justin Shonga was replaced by Alex Ngonga on the hour mark.

After six minutes of being on the field, Zambian substitute Alex Ngonga turned provider as he played Patson Daka through on goal and he duly found the back of the net with a clinical finish, 1-0.

Algeria tried to rescue the match, but were unable to do so.

Algeria (0) 0

Zambia (0) 1 (Daka 67’)


Algeria: M’Bolhi (Salhi 24’), Ghoulam, Bensebaini, Benguit, Mandi, Brahimi (Slimani 74), Taider, Attal (Ounas 50’), Mahrez, Bentaleb, Soudani.

Zambia: Mweene, Kampumbu, Sunzu, Tembo, Silwimba, Mulenga, Mwepu, Mtonga, Mbewe, Shonga (Ngonga 60’), Daka (Malama 90’).

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Algeria welcome high flying Zambia in Constantine – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Ghezzal Rachid fights for the ball against Zambia defender Ziyo Tembo

Staff Reporter

Monday Sep 04, 2017. 13:30

The Desert Warriors of Algeria will be looking to bounce back when they host Zambia on Tuesday in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

The North Africans are still licking their wounds after a shocking 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chipolopolo on Saturday in Lusaka.

For this encounter, they will want to keep their hopes alive by ensuring they retain the full three points at home come Tuesday.

Coach Lucas Alcaraz’s troops remain rooted at the bottom of Group B with one point from two losses and a draw thus far.

Looking at the Southern Africans, Zambia now occupy the second spot in the group with four points from one win, one loss and one draw.

The win at home has motivated coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men as they will want to book their maiden spot at the global tournament in Russia.

One of the goalscorers, Enock Mwepu said they must be ready for a tough match as the hosts will not be easy to beat at home.

“It was my target to score on my debut and I am very happy to come in as a substitute to score. I believe we need to continue working hard so that we beat Algeria in the return match in their backyard,” said Mwepu.

Although it will not be easy to bag a win in Constantine, the Zambians’ fighting spirit is what the Algerians must ensure they neutralise come Tuesday.

This thrilling encounter will be staged Stade Mohamed-Hamlaoui in Constantine and kick-off is at 21:00 (CAT).

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Mwila rejoices over his brace against Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Brian Mwila of Zambia Celebration after completing his brace against Algeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Zambia vs Algeria on September,2nd 2017 at National Heroes stadium,Lusaka in Zambia
©Sid Kalungar/Backpagepix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Sep 03, 2017. 14:30

After netting a brace against Algeria in their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Saturday, Zambian striker Brian Mwila says he is delighted.

Coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men are now looking to bag a win in their return leg in Algeria on Tuesday as they want to consolidate their spot in the group.

The win has elevated Chipolpolo to the second spot in Group B with seven points from three matches so far and a win in Algiers will boost their hopes of booking a spot in Russia.


Mwila netted four goals for the national team in the 2017 COSAFA Cup and 2018 Kenya Africa Nations Championship qualifying race.

Speaking after the match, the Platinum Stars striker in the South African Premier Soccer League expressed delight.

“I am delighted to have scored two goals. I was really looking forward to helping my country in a crucial match,” Mwila told the Daily Mail.

The return leg will be staged on Tuesday, September 5 in Algeria.

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WCQ Africa: Zambia 3-1 Algeria – As It Happened – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Nabil Bentaleb of Algeria during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 02, 2017. 16:55

Zambia will be hoping to claim their first win in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign as they host Algeria at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.

On the other hand, the Desert Warriors are also chasing their maiden win to move up the log table and will be fighting on all fronts for a victory.


Zambia: Mweene, Silwamba, Sunzu, Tembo, Kapumbu, Mulenga, Mtonga, Lungu, Sakala, Mwila, Daka

Algeria: M’Bolhi, Mandi, Bansebaini, Hassani, Ghoulam, Soudani, Taider, Bentaleb, Brahimi, Slimani, Hanni


90+5′ – It is full time in Lusaka. Zambia 3-1 Algeria. Now they will hope to bag another win in Algiers come Tuesday fore the second leg.

90+5′ – Daka booked

90+5′ – Zambia playing to preserve their lead at home, the crowds singing and Mweene collects a loose ball into the box.

90′ Zambia bag their third goal through Mwepu. A powerful low shot beats M’Bolhi on his far post making it 3-1 for Nyirenda’s men.

85′ – Mweene beaten on his far posts by a powerful shot by substitute, Idriss Saadi’s well executed shot, but it sails wide inches off the far post.

81′ – Sub for Algeria, Saadi for Bansebaini

81′ – We are in the final 10 minutes of the contest.Sub for Zambia: Mulenga on for N’Gonga

79′ – Mweene becoming the busiest of the two goalkeepers as he tries to curb all Algerian attacks. Mweene collects a set piece from Algerian attack.

75′ – A foul against Mulenga on the corner flag for pushing his opponent. Zambia still leading 2-1.

70′ A booking for the Algerian keeper, M’Bolhi for protesting.

69′ – Booking for Bansebaini.

69′ – Sub for Zambia: Kabwe replaces the goalscorer, Mwila.

68′ – Zambia chasing their third goal and Nyirenda becomes animated on the touchline. A corner for the hosts.

63′ – Mwepu beats the Algerian through his pace, but a final delivery to Mwila sees the striker’s effort going wide.

58′ – Sub for Algeria: Ghezzal on for Soudani

57′ – Sub for Zambia: Mwepu on for Lungu

56′ – Sakala booked for the second time., Zambia down to 10 men.

55′ – Brahimi makes it 2-1, Yacine Brahimi pulls a powerful shot right on the d-line to beat Mweene on his right post. Zambia 2-1 Algeria

51′ – Yattal booked for simulation. Zambia still lead Algeria by 2-0.

50′ – Algerians chasing their first goal in the match and Soudani fails to read the bounce of the ball, he misses with only Mweene to beat.

46′ Youcef Yattal comes on for Illias Hassan.

46′ – Second half gets underway in Lusaka, with the hosts leading 2-0.

45′ – It is half time in Lusaka. Zambia 2-0 Algeria.

45+2′ – A great cross in search of Algerian forwards, but it is too much for Slimani.

42′ – Sakala booked for a silly foul on Algerian midfielder.

40′ – Mulenga does well on the left flank to toy around with an Algerian defender, but his rushed effort sails wide over the cross bar. Zambia 2-0 Algeria

37′ – Hassani booked for a foul on Daka. Free kick for the hosts.

35′ Mwila makes it two for the Zambians. A wonderful run on the left flank by Mulenga as he beat the Algerian defence before passing the ball for the Platinum Stars striker. 2-0 against Algeria.

30′ – Sunzu and Mweene fail to communicate at the back, but the ball goes sway from danger. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

25′ – The North Africans pushing for an equaliser and to trouble the disjointed defence. Mweene collects a cross from the right flank.

20′ – Zambia not convincing at the back, a handball protested for by Slimani, but referee not interested. Zambia still lead 1-0.

15′ – Faouzi Ghoulam attempts a header from a corner, but the defender’s effort sails wide off the cross bar.

13′ – Zambia lead the Desert Warriors in the opening 10 minutes. Mulenga tries a long range effort, but narrowly misses the target.

07′ – Mwila scores for the hosts, Mwila receives a telling cross on the right flank through Mulenga and the forward cannot be denied fore the second time. Zambia 1-0 Algeria.

03′ – The hosts get a corner as they put the Algerians under pressure. Goal kick for M’Bolhi.

01′ – We are underway in Lusaka between Chipolopolo and the Desert Warriors.

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Zambia and Algeria chase first World Cup qualifier win in Lusaka – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 01, 2017. 12:00

Zambia will want to bag their first win in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers when they host Algeria on Saturday.

Chipolopolo are desperate for a win as they want to make their maiden appearance at the global football tournament in Russia.

However, coach Wedson Nyirenda’s men are placed at number three in Group B with one point after a draw against Cameroon and a loss to Nigeria.

A win for the Southern Africans will elevate them to number two with five points, depending on the outcome of the match between Nigeria and Cameroon on Friday.

“Algeria are a strong side and we will have to approach them with a lot of caution but we do not fear them, we just respect them,” Nyirenda said.

“It is not going to be an easy engagement for us. We have totally a new team, a mixture of young boys and seniors. We hope to blend them.

“I can see great sparks from the boys U20, this is a group which has nothing to lose but everything to give.”

On the other hand, the visiting North Africans are also out to claim their first win to move up the log table.

Algeria sit at the bottom of the table with one point from one loss against the Super Eagles and a stalemate against the Indomitable Lions.

The National Heroes Stadium is the venue for the crucial encounter on Saturday with kick-off set for 15:00 (CAT).

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Mahrez given blessing to leave Algeria and complete transfer – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 15:00

Algeria have given Riyad Mahrez permission to leave the national team training camp and fly back to Europe to complete a transfer away from Leicester City.

The Fennec Foxes winger has expressed a desire to leave the King Power Stadium, and with the transfer window set to close tonight he has been given the blessing of the national team to complete a move to an unnamed club.

Algeria are busy preparing for back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Zambia.

A statement on the Algerian Football Federation website read: “Leicester City’s Algerian international Riyad Mahrez, who is currently with the national team in Sidi Moussa to prepare for the double confrontation against Zambia for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, was authorised by the national coach Lucas Alcaraz and the Algerian Football Federation to make an express trip to Europe to formalise on Thursday his transfer to his new club.

“The national team will fly without him on Thursday morning to Lusaka to face Zambia on Saturday.”

The identity of Mahrez’s suitors is unknown, though he has been linked with Roma, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United during the European summer.

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We can win both home and away against Zambia – Algeria coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 31, 2017. 11:00

Algeria have the ability to defeat Zambia both home and away in their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers, according to coach Lucas Alcaraz.

The teams will meet in back-to-back Group B encounters in Lusaka and Constantine on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

The North Africans, who have appeared at the last two World Cup tournaments in 2010 and 2014, find themselves at the bottom of the log, five points off the pace set by leaders Nigeria.

They’ll need to pull off something special against Chipolopolo to give themselves a chance of reaching Russia 2018, but Spanish coach Alcaraz reckons they have a great chance.

“I think we have the means to win in Lusaka and Constantine three days later, but we will have to prove it on the field,” the Algeria coach said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“The group is aware of the task ahead. We are currently preparing with desire to go global and try to preserve our chances to win these two crucial games against Zambia.”

He added, “We are approaching these two games with five points less than the leader of the group, and it is a decisive turning point, we must not make any calculations, but victory is imperative.”

The Fennec Foxes boss admits that managing the workload of training, travel and playing two games just three days apart is tough, but he is prepared for the difficulties which lie ahead.

“To play two intense games in three days is difficult, we cannot do anything about this situation, we have to adapt,” explained Alcaraz.

“I have to allow players to recover and use as many players as possible in these two meetings so as not to make them fatigued.”

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Wedson Nyirenda wary of Algeria threat – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Aug 30, 2017. 09:00

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers taking the centre stage this weekend, Zambian national team coach Wedson Nyirenda expects a thrilling affair against Algeria.

Nyirenda believes the match will not be an easy contest as they welcome the Desert Foxes on Saturday.

Although he wants a victory at home, the former Chipolopolo striker expects his men to approach the contest with caution.


“Algeria are a strong side and we will have to approach them with a lot of caution but we do not fear them, we just respect them,” Nyirenda said to the Daily Mail.

“It is not going to be an easy engagement for us. We have totally a new team, a mixture of young boys and seniors. We hope to blend them.

“I can see great sparks from the boys U20, this is a group which has nothing to lose but everything to give.”

The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier will be staged at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka on Saturday at 15:00 (CAT). will bring you a LIVE Play-By-Play of the match.

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I have always dreamed of playing for Algeria – Sofiane Daham – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Aug 29, 2017. 18:00

Sofiane Daham says he is honoured by his maiden call-up to the Algerian squad under coach Lucas Alcaraz.

The 21-year-old, who plays his club football with Sochaux in France, has been called up for the first time ahead of the national team’s double-header against Zambia in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The North Africans face a steep task in trying to climb to the top of Group B, as they are currently placed last in the standings, five points adrift of leaders Nigeria.

“For me, there are four games left in the qualifiers, we have to catch up,” Daham told the Algerian Football Federation’s website.

“It is important to play a World Cup with the Algerian team. I dream of living the same moments as in 2014 in Brazil.

“I am truly honored by this call-up and the confidence shown in me by the coach. I will put myself at his disposal to try to help the team.”

The Saida-born player added, “Since my young age, I dreamed of wearing the jersey of the Algerian team.

“I am honored and my father was also pleased to hear that I was invited to the selection.

“Moreover, when the list was announced, he was in Saida and he told me that the whole population of the city was happy.”

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Fashion Sakala raring to go against Algeria – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Fashion Sakala of Zambia clears ball from Tercious Malepe of South Africa during the 2017 Total Zambia U-20 African Cup of Nations Zambia match between Zambia and South Africa at Heroes National Stadium, Lusaka Zambia on 08 March 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Aug 25, 2017. 15:00

As Zambia are preparing to face Algeria in their crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, striker Fashion Sakala said he is raring to go.

The U20 striker, Sakala, has already netted four times for Spartak 2 Moscow in the Russian First National League.

Wesdon Nyirenda has drafted seven U20 players in his 32-man squad regrouping in Lusaka on Sunday whilst dropping skipper, Rainford Kalaba and striker Collins Mbesuma.


Zambia will host Algeria on September 2 at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka with the return leg set for Algiers three days later.

“It is a good call-up for me as well as for my under-20 colleagues. For the coach [Nyirenda] to pick me, then he believes in me,” said Sakala.

On the other hand, Nyirenda announced he will be assisted by the U20 coach Beston Chambeshi who also thanked the national team coach.

“I am humbled. I cannot say no to the appointment. I know the coach [Wedson Nyirenda], his assistants Aggrey Chiyangi and Dabid Chilufya, as well as other members of the technical bench. We are friends,” said Chambeshi.

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Algeria eye miracle in Sfax

Adlane Guedioura of Algeria challenges Mohamed Ben Amor of Tunisia during the Afcon Group B match between Algeria and Tunisia on the 19 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 12:30

Algeria will need a minor miracle if they are to book their ticket to the 2018 African Nations Champions (CHAN) Tournament in Kenya, with Libya in the driving seat following the first-leg Northern Zone qualifier.

The Mediterranean Knights head into the clash at the Stade Taïeb Mhiri in Sfax with a 2-1 aggregate lead, following victory in Constantine last weekend.

Kick-off on Friday evening is at 19h00 CAT.

Muaid Ellafi the hero for Libya who have been forced to play their home game in neighbouring Tunisia due to ongoing conflict in their country.

The Fennec Foxes have only qualified for the CHAN competition on one previous occasion, finishing fourth at the 2011 edition hosted in Sudan.

Libya, who won the tournament three years ago in South Africa, fell a goal behind as early as the first minute this past Saturday, but the 2014 champs showed great resilience to shock their North African rivals following Oussama Darfalou’s early strike.

Algeria currently occupy 48th place in the latest world rankings while The Mediterranean Knights sit in 83rd.

In 19 previous meetings – as per – Algeria have come out tops on 14 previous occasions with Libya winning three tussles against this weekend’s opponents.

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Algeria star Boudebouz wanted by Sevilla – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Scent ition

Monday Jul 17, 2017. 17:00

Algerian star Ryad Boudebouz is reportedly the €10-million transfer target of Spanish side Sevilla.

France Football reports that the La Liga club are in the market for an attacking midfielder and have identified the Fennec Foxes man as their primary target.

Boudebouz enjoyed a fine Ligue 1 season for Montpellier in 2016/17, making 33 starts and scoring 11 goals from midfield.

The 25-year-old has also played for Sochaux and Bastia in his senior club career, and joined Montpellier in 2015.

La Paillade will be loathe to part ways with their North African playmaker and have placed a pricetag of €15-million on him.

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