Source: Graphic Online
With their first three points safely tucked under their armpits and a lead in the Group C standings, Algeria are confident they will be the first to progress from the ‘Group of Death.’
How do they intend to do that? By winning again when they play Ghana in their second game on Friday.
“We saw Ghana play against Senegal and if that is how they are going to play, then we strongly believe we will win against them. Football does not follow logic, but sometimes, you play a team and you just know you will win.
If we survived against South Africa, then certainly, we can make it against Ghana even though we are not going to underrate them,” Coach Christian Jean Gourcuff said in a post match interview.
Though he insisted they would take their campaign one match after another their fighting spirit and unrelenting effort is their trump card against a Ghana side that showed up in the first half but went to sleep in the second half against Senegal in their opening game last Monday.
The Black Stars took the lead but eventually succumbed to a 1-2 loss, thanks to an injury time goal from substitute Moussa Sow.
Moments later, the Algerians were lucky to have survived against South Africa, spared the embarrassment of conceding many goals in the first half when South Africa failed to make the most out of the numerous chances they created, including a penalty.
Eventually, the Algerians found their rhythm and managed to come from a goal down to win 3-1.
The youthful and determined Bafana Bafana literally had the Desert Foxes at their mercy right from the start of the match, but naivety and inexperience left Coach Ephram Shakes Mashaba, his bench and the fans who obviously were routing for the South Africans, gasping in disappointment.
Coach Mashaba has every right to be angry with his players for botching a golden opportunity to beat Algeria in their opening Group C match last Monday, rather, he is trying to find out from the team’s psychologist what might have gone wrong.
“I still can not explain what happened to the team because we had everything right. We played well, created the chances and sustained the pressure but our final delivery is what messed us up. This was simply our match to win,” Coach Mashaba told a post-match press conference.