Djamel Belmadi, head coach of Algeria during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Semifinals Algeria Training at the Petro Sport Stadium, Cairo on the 13 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Tuesday Jul 16, 2019. 12:00
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi says there is no guarantee that his side will win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations later this week.
The North Africans secured their first final appearance at the continental tournament since 1990 (when they won their only AFCON title) by defeating Nigeria 2-1 in Cairo on Sunday night.
Algeria have been arguably the most complete team on show at the tournament in Egypt, and their confidence is further boosted by the fact that they have already beaten their final opponents Senegal.
The Fennec Foxes claimed a 1-0 win over the Teranga Lions in the group stage, with that result effectively making them favourites for the title. However, this is a tag Belmadi rejects.
“I’m neither a magician nor a pessimist,” he told the media. “I promised Algerians that I will give everything to make them happy, but I cannot promise them to win the title because that’s not in my hands.
“The finals are won, not played. We are here now and all what we want is the cup but we are facing an opponent who always wants to win the cup.
“So it’s going to be a very tough game. Now we will have some rest and then we will start preparing.”
Algeria and Senegal will meet in the AFCON final at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday 19 July.