After guiding his team to the AFCON 2019 final, Algeria
Football team national head coach Djamel Belmadi told the media in Cairo that
he is neither a magician nor miracle worker.
Algeria beat Nigeria Super Eagles 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium with skipper Riyad Karim Mahrez scoring a late minute gasp winner.
“I am not a magician and will not promise miraces.
I can not do any thing out of my hands. It is with the support of God” Belmadi
noted in the post-match press conference.
The former midfielder who also played for the
national team as well as professional stints in Europe with PSG, Marseille,
Manchester City, Southampton among others hinted on the proper on spot game
preparation prior to the Nigerian semi-final match.
“We know it would be a tough game like the tough
game we had two days earlier against Ivory Coast. We closed the spaces on the
side especially Ahmed Musa and right back Collins Chidozie Awaziem. We had a difficult
moment in the second half for about 15 minutes. The players were tired and the
quality of the opponents. The players showed great attitude and mental
strength. With the quality of players like Mahrez, a free-kick would get in at
any time” he added.
The coach declined to comment about the Vide
Assistant Refereeing decision to award Nigeria a penalty that Shanghai
Greenland Shenhua forward Jude Idion Igahlo converted with ease for the
“The penalty decision is not the talking point, but how we had to concentrate and motivate ourselves and come back” he noted.
Nigerian forward made no mistake from 12 yards beating Saudi Arabia based goalkeeper Adi Algeria had taken the lead on 39 when minutes when Mahrez’s footwork and step overs puzzled left back Jamilu Collins before the former’s cross was headed into the net by Nigerian defender William Paul Ekong.
Algeria takes on Senegal in Friday’s finale at the Cairo