Afcon 2021: Cameroonian climate ‘very difficult’ for Algeria

Algeria, Manchester City wing captain Riyad Mahrez, won the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt.

Algerian players say Cameroon’s tropical climate was a factor They drew 0-0 against Sierra Leone In the first match of the African Cup.

The runners-up had a team ranked 108th in the world, despite having several chances at the Group E meeting played in Douala in the afternoon.

Temperatures above 30 degrees were reported in the port city on Tuesday, with humidity above 70%.

“It was very difficult with the heat, and especially for those of us who play in Europe. We are not used to it,” Algerian midfielder Haris Belkebla told BBC Sport Africa.

“We suffered a lot.”

Left-back Ramy Bensebaini, who saw a shot saved in the second half, described the match as “very complicated and very hot”, and Sierra Leonean defender Steven Caulker said the humidity at Japoma Stadium was “crazy”.

The Desert Foxes are unbeaten in 35 senior international matches and have a strong tendency to keep the cap in Cameroon, but expect cooler conditions when they face Equatorial Guinea on Sunday (19:00 GMT).

The North African sides have only been involved in the National Cup in sub-Saharan Africa, with Morocco alone, in Ethiopia in 1976, and in Egypt, in Burkina Faso, in 1998. Ghana 2008 and Angola in 2010, raising a trophy in such tournaments.

Algeria lost 3-0 to Malawi in their first match of 2010, and with a 0-0 draw with their hosts, Egypt also won 4-0 in the semi-finals. They won the quarterfinals of Equatorial Guinea in 2015 and two years later did not leave their team at Christmas.

“We don’t have to try to find an excuse, we have to adapt to the weather,” said Belkebla, who plays for Brest in the French 1st League.

“We will keep working to win the next few games. The goal is clear: we all need to do more to get some wins, qualify and go to this cup.”

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in June and July last year, but was moved to January 2021 to prevent a rainy season in Cameroon, but was later delayed by a year by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bensebaini admitted that he had frustrated Algeria with goalkeeper Mohamed Nbalie Kamara Leone Stars, and he made a series of stops.

“If we don’t do it, it’s our fault,” said the defender.

“If we had managed to score the first goal, the match would have been different, the others would have come. We could have had a second one in the third, and even more so because we had a lot of chances. It’s just, I hope.” a fake pass, and we’ll be back soon.

“My message to the Algerians is, thank you for your encouragement. [and] to continue believing in us. We don’t give up, “

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