…As Rohr Urges Focus, Total Commitment
Algeria set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash against Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Sunday after they defeated Cote d’Ivoire 4-3 on penalties in their quarter-final encounter yesterday at the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) in Egypt.
The match ended one-all after 120 minutes with Turkey-based Sofiane Feghouli scoring in the first half for Les Fennecs whilst Jonathan Kodjia levelled in the second half.
The North Africans had the luxury of missing a penalty early in the second half when Baghdad Bounedjah shot at the cross-bar, but had the last laugh on penalties.
During penalties, Rami Bensebaini, Islam Slimani, Andy Delort and Adam Ounas scored for Algeria whilst Franck Kessie, Maxwell Cornet and Max Gradel converted for the West Africans. Striker Wilfried Bony and Serey Die missed their spots kicks with Youcef Belaili also failing to score from the shot distance to ensure Algeria reached the last four for the first time since 2010.
It was yet again another painful exit for Les Elephants who have failed to make an impression since winning their second AFCON title in 2015 in Equatorial Guinea. The Ivorians, champions also in 1992, failed to go past the group stage in 2017 in Gabon.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ technical adviser Gernot Rohr has charged his team to be focused and fully committed to the task ahead of their Semi final tie against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium .
“The next match in a championship is always the toughest, so it is always important to approach it that way. That is why we must now forget what we achieved against South Africa in our quarter final match and start to build up towards the semi final.
“There is no time to rest on our oars. We must make all the sacrifices we can now to achieve our objectives at this tournament. We must stay focused and be fully committed.”
The three –time champions were back at the Aerosport pitch inside the Cairo Airport on Thursday morning to begin training for Sunday’s encounter, which would be against the winner of the Algeria/Cote d’Ivoire fixture.
Also on Thursday morning, the management of the Le Meridien Cairo Airport hotel presented a big cake to the Super Eagles for the 2-1 win over South Africa on Wednesday that has taken Nigeria into the last four of Africa’s biggest and most prestigious football championship.
The hotel manager, Atef Wilson, on behalf of the management presented the cake to Coach Gernot Rohr and forward Odion Ighalo, who received on behalf of the team.
Victory over South Africa took Franco –German Gernot Rohr’s record with Nigeria to 20 wins in 34 matches, of which he has drawn five and lost nine.