Belmadi: Young African coaches can write history

Author: CAF Online
Djamel Belmadi

After leading his team to the Total Africa Cup of Nations final for the first time since winning the title at home in 1990, Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi expressed his joy with this feat, stressing that he only thinks of winning the title for the second time in Les Fennecs history.

Riyad Mahrez scored after 94 minutes to handle Algeria a hardly fought 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Sunday night at the Cairo International Stadium, to set the date for Les Fennecs with Teranga Lions of Senegal in the final next Friday (19 July 2019) at the same venue.

After defeating Algeria Belmadi told CAFOnline.com “We had an amazing first half and could have scored more goals. In the second half we played under pressure for almost 15 minutes. After Nigeria found the equalizer our players showed great character and mental strength to be back in the game, and we fought till we scored in the last gasp and that was great for us”.

Belmadi praised his players and added “sometimes we forget who we should thank, so I have to thank my players now for their fighting spirit. We played 120 minutes against Cote d’Ivoire in a very hot weather and now we played a very tough game against Nigeria, a tough opponent who plays good and modern football”.

Asked about apparently losing weight because of the tournament stress, Belmadi said while laughing “I think I lost a lot of hair not weight”.

“I promise Algerians that I will give everything to make them happy, but I cannot promise them to win the title because that’s not in my hands”.