Algeria coach Belmadi hails 'historic' Nations Cup triumph
Friday, July 19, 2019
Algeria coach Belmadi hails 'historic' Nations Cup triumph

Ahram Sport

Algeria's elated coach Djamel Belmadi hailed his side's African Cup of Nations triumph as "historic," saying they were worthy winners despite a scrappy win over Senegal in the final on Friday.

A fortuitous second-minute goal from burly striker Baghdad Bounedjah settle a drab affair, with Algeria adopting an unfamiliar cautious strategy after securing an early lead at Cairo Stadium.

But Senegal struggled to break down a dogged defence marshaled by impressive duo Aissa Mandi and Djameleddine Benlamri, creating just a couple of goal-scoring chances despite dominating possession.

"It's extraordinary, historic. This is the first Nations Cup we win away from home," Belmadi told beIN Sports in a pitch-side interview, referring to Algeria's previous triumph on home soil in 1990.

"It was a long journey but we deserved it. Maybe this match was complicated and difficult because our opponents are the highest-ranked side in Africa.

"But we were aware that small details could make a difference and we finished the tournament with the best attacking and defensive records."

Algeria proved superior to all the other heavyweights in the continent, at times displaying an entertaining brand of football that eventually propelled them to glory in Egypt.

They conceded just two goals and scored 13 to win the elusive Nations Cup trophy.