YAOUNDE (Reuters) – Under stress Algeria are properly conscious solely a victory will guarantee their progress at the Africa Cup of Nations and need to do the talking on the subject, captain Riyad Mahrez stated on Wednesday.
The defending champions suffered a humiliating defeat at the arms of tiny Equatorial Guinea on Sunday and should now beat the Ivory Coast in Douala in their final Group E match on Thursday to stand any likelihood of advancing to the final 16.
Algeria, whose 35-match unbeaten file went up in smoke amid one in every of the match’s nice upsets, are backside of the group with a solitary level.
That got here from one other disappointing efficiency, at the begin of the 24-team match in Cameroon, after they have been held by lowly-ranked Sierra Leone, making their return for the first time since the 1996 finals.
“The message is easy: we’ve to win. We lacked effectivity and we have to be extra spontaneous in our attacking,” Mahrez instructed a information convention.
“When your again is in opposition to the wall, you should not discuss an excessive amount of. Everyone is aware of what they’ve to do.”
Algeria may comply with the means of fellow heavyweight contenders Ghana, who have been knocked out on Tuesday in one other shock consequence as they went down to the Comoros Islands, however coach Djamel Belmadi stated he was assured of a optimistic response from his crew.
“We completely have to win if we would like to proceed. It’s an enormous problem however we’ve the capability to reply,” he added.
Algeria have solely crushed the Ivorians twice in eight earlier conferences at the finals, however obtained previous them on penalties at the final version in Egypt in 2019, earlier than going onto take the trophy.
(Writing by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Christian Radnedge)