Algeria coach Madjid Bougherra is proud of his side’s qualification to the quarter-finals of the TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2022 at the expense of Côte d’Ivoire.
Bougherra was visibly delighted at the post-match press conference and said, “First, we thank the fans who were wonderful. They motivated the players a lot in the match and in order to get the penalty kick as well.
“This is a victory for the people and the fans, and we thank the players who were mentally strong, and we thank them for their great determination to win. They deserve it. The goalkeeper’s sending-off was a disappointment for me. We played to minute details. We must rest now and let the players enjoy themselves. We must continue this way in the future.”
Bougherra further added that “The duo of [Houssem] Mrezigue and [Zakaria] Draoui did a good job in the middle of the field. Our players have become more mature and have begun to discuss among themselves and exchange opinions.
“Mahious was struggling in the field and the way he scored the penalty kick, he did well. Every player in the world has his own way of executing penalty kicks. He is the player of the future. He has a good structure and scores with the head as well. Even Karim Aribi is a good player and unfortunately, he did not have the opportunity to score. All the players are good as well.
“I said previously that I believe that the winner of the match between Algeria and Côte d’Ivoire is a candidate to be in the final. From the beginning, we aimed for that. We will see who our opponent is, whether it is Niger or Ghana. We want to reach the end. As I told our players if we qualify for the four, we shall be close to the final. Everything is possible.”
Bougherra, who captained Algeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil revealed that goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz who was sent off in the 20th minute, “Was crying after his send-off, and he returned in the second half and encouraged his colleagues.
” This is a victory for the people and the fans, and we thank the players who were mentally strong, and we thank them for their great determination to win. They deserve it”, the coach added it.
“When the goalkeeper is sent off, it is difficult. We have [Farid] Chaal and Rahmani who have a high level. Guendouz was right, and I thank all the players, especially the defenders and Mahious who ran a lot, and everyone ran many kilometres.
“I was hoping that the match would be played with a full squad of players, and not with 10 players against 10. Despite that, we played in a good manner and there are positive things.
“This match was difficult, and our players were determined to win, and we will continue to do so until the final, God is willing. The fans must prepare. We are coming to Oran. We want challenges and we love them,” Bougherra concluded.
Algeria will now travel to Oran for the semi-final match to meet the winner between Niger and Ghana who face off on Saturday at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium.