Algeria now hold the African record of 27 matches unbeaten, ahead of Côte d’Ivoire (26 matches). For Djamel Belmadi, this series is not the result of chance, but of three years of work. But the Algerian coach also stressed that the credit goes to the players, who are the main architects of this African record.
Since 2018, the band Riyad Mahrez remains unbeaten in all competitions, with the key to the African Cup of Nations in Egypt, after 19 years of waiting. Algeria’s 2-0 win over Tunisia on Friday night in Tunis, thanks to goals from Baghdad Bounedjah (18′) and Riyad Mahrez (27′), gave them a 27th unbeaten game, breaking the African unbeaten record held by Côte d’Ivoire since 2013 (26 games).
« This unbeaten streak of 27 games means a lot. First of all, consistency after the African crown in 2019, by getting back to work to put in big performances. The credit goes to the players, who have worked hard to break this record. Now, it will not be easy to preserve this series, especially as all the teams are waiting for us to fall, « said Djamel Belmadi, on their return to the country after the match against Tunisia.
« It was important to go and get a good result against Tunisia, the second African country in the FIFA rankings, semi-finalist of the last CAN, world champion in 2018 and who remained on a 12-game unbeaten streak. So, it was important to go and win at home and we did it with art and manner, » said the Algerian coach, who hopes that his team will manage to retain its continental crown in Cameroon in 2022 and also qualify for the Qatari World Cup the same year.
« The objective of this meeting was to review the squad and see all the players before the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. It is very important not to have conceded any goals in the last two games. It shows that we are a well-organised team and that all the players are involved, not just the defenders. It’s a balance that starts with our forwards who do a good job, pressing, getting back into position quickly, » he explained.
In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, Algeria is in group A, along with Burkina Faso, Niger and Djibouti. For the first day, Riyad Mahrez and his teammates will host Djibouti at the Chahid Mustapha-Tchaker stadium in Blida. This match, which was supposed to be played on June 5, has been postponed to next September.