The Algerian national team of local players has ideally launched its adventure in the African Nations Championship (CHAN-2022) which takes place from January 13 to February 4, by defeating its Libyan counterpart (1-0, half-time 0-0) in a match played Friday evening at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Baraki (Algiers), for the first day of the group stage, Group “A”.
The scoreline was a close one, but it does not reflect the true nature of the match, as coach Madjid Bougherra’s men controlled the match and created more clear-cut chances than their opponents.
In fact, the Verts had gone straight to business, bringing the threat to the Libyan camp in the second minute of the match, through Mrezigue, whose shot was hardly caught by the goalkeeper.
Five minutes later, following another well-orchestrated attack by the Verts, Mahious delivered a powerful shot that obliged the goalkeeper to make two moves to stop the ball.
The Libyans had to wait until the quarter-hour to react, and Saltou’s shot went just over the crossbar.
The most dangerous chance in the first half was also Libyan and it came from Abdellaâti Al Abasi, whose beautiful cross-header almost stunned Guendouz (26′).
After the half-time break, Bougherra’s men came back with better attacking intentions and their efforts were rewarded in the 57th minute by a penalty, which Aymen Mahious transformed with a perfect counter-punch (1-0).
It was following a huge mistake by the Libyan defence, which, after being pushed to the limit, put its goalkeeper in such difficulty that the latter had no alternative but to tackle Mahious inside the six-yard box.
A small but precious victory for Algeria, the host country of the tournament, which as often in football should be decisive for the rest of the journey, starting with the next game against Ethiopia next Tuesday, while the Libyans are obliged to react from the next match against Mozambique.