Algerian press hail Desert Foxes win over Morocco

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 28 Mar 2011

On Sunday, Algeria pulled a precious 1-0 win over Morocco, reviving their hopes of qualification for the 2012 African Cup of Nations

Algeria national team

Algeria were in a must-win position, relegated to the bottom of Group D with a solitary point. Thanks to a seventh-minute goal by Hassan Yebda from a penalty, the North African hosts now share the driving seat in the group table with Tanzania, Morocco and the Central African Republic -- each with four points.

El-Khabar newspaper titled the match report saying, “Algeria’s hopes to qualify are revived,” praising the important role of the supporters who filled the 19 May Stadium in Annaba.

“The Desert Foxes made Algerians smile again,” El-Bilad newspaper commented.

Despite celebrating the win, Ennahar newspaper criticised the various mistakes of the Algerian players, stressing the offences poor performance.

“The players’ performances were not satisfying. There were a lot of mistakes that need a great deal of work from coach Abdelhak Benchikha,” the paper explained.

Escaping political conflicts, thousands of Algerians flood to the streets celebrating their first win since 2010 African Cup of Nations 3-2 win over Ivory Coast.

Algeria manager Abdelhak Benchikha appreciated his players’ responsibility and discipline.

“This win is gained because of my players’ determination,” the manager told reporters after the match.

“Missing key players like Karim Ziani and Antar Yahia due to injuries was confusing.

“I’d like to thank all my players and all the supporters who have been fantastic; our qualification chances are revived now,” he added.

Alternatively, Moroccan newspaper Al-Mountakhab declared, “Atlas Lions fall at the Stadium of Annaba”, attacking the match’s referee for being unfair.

Morocco’s Belgian coach Eric Gerets confessed that Algerians deserved to win.

“I’d like to congratulate them as they played as real fighters. We did our best, but we were not lucky enough to even end the game with a draw,” Gerets said in the press conference after the game.

The penalty was illegal according to Gerets, but he refused to comment about the referee’s performance.

“I will not talk about the referee to avoid being punished. But still, we have all the chances to qualify,” he concluded.

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