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AFCON 2021: Algeria out to ease pressure with Guinea win

Algeria will go head to head with Equatorial Guinea in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group E match at the Stade Omnisport de Douala in Cameroon on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 9pm CAT.

The Desert Foxes were frustrated by a resilient Sierra Leone side in their opening group match as they drew 0-0 in a match which was played on Tuesday and it was the first time Algeria had failed to score in 35 matches.

The defending champions find themselves in position two on the group standings and they will be under pressure to defeat Equatorial Guinea in order to boost their hopes of joining Cameroon in the knockout phase.

Ramy Bensebaini, the Algeria defender, described their result against Sierra Leone as a bad one and the Borussia Monchengladbach star added that they need to bounce back to winning ways against the National Thunder.

“We would have liked to start the competition with a victory. The match was difficult against a Sierra Leonean team who defended very well. Their goalkeeper had a good game,” Bensebaini told DZ Foot.

“We suffered from a climatic point of view with high humidity, the state of the pitch did not help us. I am not making excuses, but it is a reality. We were not prolific in front of goal. We played with too much haste.

“This is only the first game. This is a bad result. Now we will recover well and focus on our next game, we need to come back strong in this tournament.”

Meanwhile, Equatorial Guinea’s Group E campaign got off to a bad start on Wednesday as they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast with Max Gradel scoring the only goal of the match.

The National Thunder are placed at the bottom of group standings and they cannot afford to lose to Algeria if they harbour ambitions of qualifying for the Last 16 of Africa’s biggest football tournament.

Nopo Casto, the Equatorial Guinea assistant coach, was left rue their missed chances in the match against Ivory Coast, but he feels that they can secure a victory over a much-fancied Algeria side.

Read Also: AFCON 2021: Ivory Coast coach dismisses criticism of Haller

“Congratulations to Ivory Coast on their victory but overall, we deserve better,” Casto told CAF Online.

“We played well with clear chances. We have failed to make them happen. Now, we must start the work tomorrow to correct the mistakes made and come with more certainty against Algeria on Sunday.

“Like Ivory Coast, this Algerian team is among the favourites, but we have the means to go for the victory. A game that is never like another.”

This will be the first competitive meeting between Algeria and Equatorial Guinea.

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