Sierra Leone achieved a great achievement by keeping African champion Algeria under observation (0-0) for its return to the African Cup of Nations, 25 years after its last participation. Great performance delighted the Lyon star players while they were next to the Desert Foxes, disappointment was the best shared feeling.
From our special correspondent in Douala,
The contrast is astounding. After the match ended, in the alley of the mixed area where the players pass after showering to join their bus, the face of the Sierra Leoneans looked glowing, the face of the Algerians grim.
First arrival in groups, almost everyone stops to drop a word to reporters and Talking about a new feat After a double draw (4-4; 0-0) against Nigeria in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.” It’s an incredible colossal result! Starting CAN like this after 25 years of absence, it really is a good result ».
« It’s a great performanceAs believed by defender Osman Kakai. We had a good game and I’m proud of the state of mind we showed. We played against big stars like Mahrez and I am happy with the result today. »
“Unbelievable, what we did… »
The most anticipated player after his great performance, goalkeeper Mohamed N Kamara, was not conservative, his shyness contrasted with his hyperactivity during the match against the Desert Foxes which earned him the nickname “Man of the Match”. ” This cup is very important, He confessed. It means a lot to me, my family and my loved ones. It’s amazing what we’ve done ».
His coach John Kester appreciates the achievement, but it still feels felt, with the rest promising to be just as tough with Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea as the upcoming competitors. ” I said at the start of the tournament that we are a growing team, and today we have shown that the team is progressing. We have been absent from the CAN for 25 years, and we were keen to defend ourselves well. We have a young team, I ask them to be professionals to remain competitive. We are proud of this result and we are now preparing for the next match. We won’t beat the hat after a match, we still have two ».
For me: « We will qualify and we will go to the end »
On the Algerian side, most of the players did not want to talk after the match. Even coach Djamel Belmadi, who made throwing a few words in the mixed zone a point of honor, transcended his role. At a press conference, he was pleased with his feelings. ” There is a feeling of remorse. We wanted to start this competition off well, with a win. We had parking spots, more than enough. We didn’t know how to be realistic this afternoon ”, analyzes the coach of the desert foxes.
Therefore, the next match against Equatorial Guinea is expected to revive on Sunday. ” It will be necessary to win, quite simply, Belmadi ad. You have to win every match. We enter the field with the idea of winning all the matches. Today, we have failed in our mission. We will correct what needs to be corrected and then come back against Equatorial Guinea to win. »
Defender Rami Bensbini, one of the few who stopped in front of journalists, believes that there is no need to panic after such a poor performance. ” It’s not because we’ve painted that we should give up everything. We will qualify and we will go to the end. It’s the first match, I hope it was just a slip. We will be back quickly. »
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