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Algeria defender doesn't fear any opponent, 'even Egypt'

Madjid Bougherra says Algeria are ready to face any opponent, including bitter rivals Egypt, in the decisive phase of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers

Ahram Online, Tuesday 18 Jun 2013
Algeria defender
The Algeria defender Madjid Bougherra (Photo: Reuters)
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Algeria are unfazed by the prospect of taking on North African rivals Egypt in the World Cup qualifying playoff, defender Madjid Bougherra said on Tuesday.

Both sides advanced to the two-legged playoff with one match to spare after ensuring they would finish on top of their respective groups.

Algeria are on top of Group H with 12 points, four ahead of second-placed Benin while Egypt are five clear of nearest challengers Guinea in Group G.

The bitter foes met in an ill-tempered playoff in Sudan in 2009, with Algeria beating Egypt 1-0 to qualify for the 2010 South Africa finals.

"The identity of our opponents in the last round does not matter, we are just seeking to reach the World Cup," 30-year-old defender Bougherra, who plays for Lekhwiya in Qatar, told Algerian paper Ennahar Online.  

"We don't care about who we will face, even if it's Egypt."

Bougherra was a key member of the Algerian side who overcame Egypt four years ago in a match that subsequently strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Egypt avenged that defeat in the 2010 African Cup of Nations, routing Algeria 4-0 in the semi-finals before going on to win a record-extending seventh continental title.

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