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Algerian football team avoid draw for Africa Cup

The Algerian recorder, led by Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez, will be the team to avoid when the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, takes place on Tuesday night in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde.

Defending champions, Algeria set an African record for an undefeated run for a senior national team in June, when it won a friendly in Tunisia and reached 27 matches without a loss. That win over neighboring North Africa Tunisia surpassed the record set by a teammate inspired by Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure in Cte d’Ivoire in February 2013.

Since losing the Nations Cup qualifier in Benin 34 months ago, Algeria has won 20 competitive and friendly matches, drawn seven, scored 58 goals, and won 17. This sharp shape makes the desert foxes favorites to hold the Nations Cup in Cameroon in February and conquer Africa for the third time.

Algeria won the first African national team competition in 1990 when it hosted an event that featured eight teams and beat Nigeria 1–0 in the title decision. A goal from Baghdad Bounejah in Cairo less than two minutes later gave Algeria a win again two years ago, this time over Senegal’s Liverpool winger Sadio Mane.

Algeria will be among the top six seeds for the draw at Yaounde and, no matter how bold the other coaches’ public statements ahead of the event, they will be happy to dodge Mahrez and his colleagues in private.

A national coach, who requested anonymity, told AFP: “We say we are not afraid of any opponent, but we want to play potentially vulnerable teams in any tournament for as long as possible.” Winger Aisa Mandi, a longtime regular, recently switched clubs from La Liga, moving from Real Betis to Villarreal, and missed a penalty in Chelsea’s UEFA Super Cup defeat.

Read: Braithwaite in a cryptic post – ‘I do my talking on the pitch’

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Algerian football team avoid draw for Africa Cup
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