There are no easy groups at the AFCON – Madjid Bougherra

There are no easy groups at the AFCON – Madjid Bougherra
Former Algerian skipper Madjid Bougherra

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Apr 17, 2019. 12:00

Former Algeria national team captain Madjid Bougherra has warned the current Fennec Foxes that there are “no easy groups” at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Algeria received what on paper looks to be a kind draw for the group stage of the continental finals, being pooled with Senegal, Tanzania and Kenya.

Given that the top two of each group are guaranteed progression into the knockout phase, it is widely assumed that the Teranga Lions and the Fennec Foxes will advance with relative comfort from Group C.

However, Bougherra, who went to two AFCONs with Algeria, cited the example of a shock 3-0 loss his side suffered at the hands of supposed minnows Malawi in 2010. The North Africans recovered to reach the semifinals, but the result was still an example of how tournament football can surprise.

By experience, in the African Cup, there are no easy groups knowing that all qualified teams are ready to give everything in a final phase, especially they are not there by chance,” Bougherra told Le Buteur.

“I quote the example of our time where we had been swept aside by Malawi while we emerged from a superb qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

“No one expected such a disappointment. It is to tell you that in a competition like the AFCON, each match has its truth, even if that year we managed to pull together to go to the semifinals.”

And as far as Algeria’s chances of winning the 2019 finals are concerned, the 36-year-old added: “Everything will also depend on the state of the players, the mentality and the beginning of the first matches.

“There are many criteria that come into play. We all know the quality of Algeria and its faults, so we must remain humble and well prepared, after that is the ground that will talk about all this.”

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