Cote D’Ivoire have a tough task facing the hosts of the 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN), Algeria this Friday at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.
The home based Elephants growing in confidence as the competition unfolds have returned to the CHAN scene in style outmuscling DR Congo and regulars Uganda to reach the quarter-final of the home based players tournament.
Ahead of their first quarter-final final appearance since 2016, coach Soualiho Haidara believes his team will not be unsettled by the massive Algerian fans presence as they rather look to tur the crowd into their push in the crucial encounter.
“We will have to transform it into our own motivation. We all know how important the Algerian supporters are and how much they love football. However, we must know that the Algerian supporters are not the ones playing on the field. We are playing against eleven opponents and we need to compete”, said Haidara who has guided his side to a win, a draw and a defeat in three games in the tournament said.
Algeria were resolute through the group stages, not scoring too many goals but doing just enough to get results required to edge their opponents and keep a clean sheet all along. Haidara acknowledge the strength of their gritty opponents who defeated all three group opponents by the identical 1-0 score.
“They don’t score a lot. It’s up to us to make sure they stay less effective in the penalty area and to score one goal more than them to ensure that victory for us”, the 48-year-old added.
The game will kick off at 5PM on Friday, at Nelson Mandela stadium in Baraki, Algeria. It will be a first quarter-final appearance in the competition for Algeria since 2011 and its at home.
Algeria are the bookmakers favorites to win the whole tournament after a series of resolute displays amounted to three 1-0 wins in the group stages.
The team has been inspired in part by former Algeria national team captain – and Charlton Athletic and Glasgow Rangers defender – Madjid Bougherra – whose 70 caps for the Desert Foxes won him thousands of fans.
This clash between the Algeria and Côte D’Ivoire will be a meeting one of North Africa’s finest and the West Africans also keen on making a name for themselves.
Côte D’Ivoire finished third in 2016 in Rwanda while Algeria’s best shot was a fourth place finish from the 2011 edition of the tournament in Sudan.
Both nations returned to the tournament after missing the 2018 and 2020 editions in Morocco and Cameroon will be hoping to take advantage of their brilliant collection of players to achieve a little more.
Côte d’Ivoire will face hosts Algeria in the first quarter-final match-up on January 27 at 1600hrs GMT at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, Algeria.
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