Algeria aware of tough mission in 2015 AFCON but seem confident

Eslam Omar
Thursday 4 Dec 2014
Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff addresses tough challenge ahead after Algeria drew Group C on Wednesday

The Algerian national football team faces a tough mission in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after they drew Group C on Wednesday to compete with Ghana, South Africa and Senegal.

"I think the draw results are very tough. We are in a flammable but balanced group as all teams have opportunities for qualification. We need to eliminate the best teams to prove our superiority," stated Algeria coach Christian Gourcuff.

Christian Gourcuff
Algeria newly-appointed manager Christian Gourcuff (Photo: Reuters)

Algeria led Group B of the qualifications with 15 points, winning five times and losing once, six points ahead of runner-up Mali, leaving behindMalawi and Ethiopia.

"I don't know enough about South Africa but of course they are respectable. Ghana, who failed in the last World Cup have big names and are expected to go far," added the Frenchman in his statements to the Algerian press.

South Africa topped Group A with 12 points, two before second placed Congo, while Ghana led Group E with 11 points, one before Guinea.

"Regarding Senegal, they became so competitive last year. So I think all games will be really tough with no clear favorites for this group," he declared.

Senegal survived to the finals, winning four games, losing one and drawing another, qualifying as the runner-ups of Group G with 13 points, one behind Tunisia.

Mansouri: Only strong teams in the finals

Yazid Mansouri
Algeria's Yazid Mansouri (Photo: Reuters)

"There are only strong teams in the Africa Cup of Nations finals. But we have our weapons and spices [sic.] we are going to use to say our word. Regarding preparations, we will be ready to make a good representation," Algeria's experienced footballer and assistant coach Yazid Mansouri said.

Algeria scored eleven goals in the six group stage qualifiers, while allowing only four goals in their net.

Belloumi: The draw had no mercy

former Algeria star Lakhdar Belloumi
Former Algeria star Lakhdar Belloumi (Photo: Al-Ahram)

"The draw didn't have mercy on us putting us in the death group, as they say, Ghana and Senegal are favorites for the titles and even South Africa have potential," stated former Algeria star Lakhdar Belloumi to Al-Khabar newspaper. He added that "The greens' mission will be tough and really difficult but possible because we are in the same levels of Ghana and Senegal and maybe better too after our recent World Cup experience in Brazil."

The tournament will be held in Equatorial Guinea, after Morocco rejected the organizing amid fear of Ebola. It will kick-off f 17 January until 8 February.

The full draw result is as follows:

Group A: Equatorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Congo

Group B: Zambia, Tunisia, Cape Verde, DR Congo

Group C: Ghana, Algeria, South Africa, Senegal 

Group D: Ivory Coast, Mali, Cameroon, Guinea                   

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