Football

AFCON 2023: Mauritania shock 2019 champions Algeria in historic win

Mauritania Tuesday recorded by far the most shocking result of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 after beating 2019 AFCON champions Algeria 1-0 at the Stade de la Paixin Bouake. 

All the odds favoured Algeria to pick their first win in the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON Côte d’Ivoire 2023 but Mauritania came to the party, sending their North African opponents packing.  

Yali Dellahi controlled a rebound to produce a great strike which deflected to put Mauritania ahead.

After taking the lead in the 37th minute, Amir Abdou managed situations and defended his lead throughout the game. 

Goalkeeper Babacar Niasse made heroic saves to keep the Lions of Chinguetti in the game. The win is Mauritania’s first in the history of the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON. 

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With three points, Mauritania are through to the knockout stage of the TotalEnergies CAF AFCON. 

Djamel Belmadi – Algeria coach speaking after the shocking result said; “The observation right here is that we have conceded a goal, we can come back here and look at the goals that we conceded. There are some things that I cannot explain; we haven’t been able to score even though we had good plan and tactics.

“This is the mystery of football. If we do not create chances, if we were dominated by chances created by the opponent teams, if we missed a lot opportunities, then we could say there is a sector that is not good but that was not the case in the matches we played, so these are things I can’t explain,” he added.

“We are out of the AFCON for the second time and that’s football. That’s how it is. “We have not been able to score, and we have not been able to make the difference.

As I said in the beginning, we don’t have any small team in this AFCON and you can be punished anytime with a set piece or a penalty, so we are not able to finish our chances and create more.”

Mauritania’s Amir Abdou in a wave of excitement said; “It is extraordinary what we are feeling and what we are going through. I told my players to not leave anything out, to believe until the final whistle and we saw all the scenarios we had in those conversations and we had seen other teams and we have been able to win against this Algerian team. 

“Individually and as a team, we showed lot of determination for this qualification, so, we will start from here. 

“It is a very difficult win. You find yourself in a country where you don’t know a lot of people where you had this result and people are going to hit you in the middle. 

“The players had a historic game. I told them today that they need to write their names in the history books of Mauritanian football and they have done that.”

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The win against Algeria was Mauritania’s first TotalEnergies CAF AFCON win and also confirmed their qualification for the last 16 stage.



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