Algeria facing destiny against Guinea

Adam Ounas of Algeria celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Tanzania and Algeria at Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 01 July 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

It’s the third time in AFCON history that sees Algerians and Guineans facing each other in the finals. In 1980 (Nigeria), Les Fennecs won 3-1. In 1998 (Burkina Faso), Le Syli National reversed the odds by winning 1-0. The winner of this round of 16 match will face Mali or Cote d’Ivoire in the quarterfinals.

It’s the third time in AFCON history that sees Algerians and Guineans facing each other in the finals. In 1980 (Nigeria), Les Fennecs won 3-1. In 1998 (Burkina Faso), Le Syli National reversed the odds by winning 1-0. The winner of this round of 16 match will face Mali or Cote d’Ivoire in the quarterfinals.

On the Guinean side, Coach Paul Put will have to make it without his midfielder, Naby Keita. Injured in the second match against Nigeria, Keita returned to Liverpool to continue rehabilitation and will miss the match against Algeria; a match where Ibrahima Traoré and his teammates are hyper-motivated for. "We will play one of the best African teams," Traore said.

 What they said

Djamel Belmadi (Coach, Algeria)

The group stage is totally different from the knockout phase. We are moving to another kind of competition. The approach of these meetings and the preparation is different, but we remain focused on our match against Guinea. A lot of praise has been done, it's deserved for the whole team but the bottom line is that the players keep their feet on the ground. I do not think we needed to have the example of the elimination of Morocco to be warned. Let's prepare calmly for this encounter against Guinea to give the best of ourselves.

Youcef Atal (Defender, Algeria)

We came to Egypt with a bigger goal than the round of 16. We are well focused and well prepared for this match against Guinea because we know what lies ahead. It's up to us to do better than what we did during the group stage. Guinea is a good team. Currently, there are no more small or large teams in Africa. All teams are equal and it's up to us to play the game now and to win the match.

Paul Put (Coach, Guinea)

Our team has some good qualities and can go a long way in this competition. We have so far achieved good results against Madagascar, Nigeria and Burundi during the group stage. We must be realistic, we will play against an Algerian team that the best formation of the group phase with a quality coach that I want to congratulate for the work done. I am in the middle of the construction phase with the Guinea team because it is a team in formation. We are preparing in the best conditions to face Algeria. All players are aware of the task ahead and are motivated to perform well.

Ibrahima Traoré (Midfielder, Guinea)

We are going to play against a good team from Algeria. The pressure is on the Algerian side, as the Fennecs are considered the favorites of the competition. We are expected on this tournament and we must achieve the feat against the Algerians. It is a loss for us not to have Naby Keita for this game but other high quality players will be there and we can count on the whole group to pass. We are motivated to make the best match against the best team in Africa today.