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Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria football coach admits chances are slim


Franceville (Gabon) (AFP) – Algeria coach Georges Leekens admitted on Sunday that his side do not stand much chance of making it to the knockout stage of the Africa Cup of Nations.

“We know that the chances are not great. It does not only depend on us,” said the Belgian ahead of Monday’s final matches in Group B.

Algeria, with just one point to their name, must beat already-qualified Senegal and hope Tunisia lose to outsiders Zimbabwe if they are to make the last eight.

Even then they must make sure they finish with a better goal difference than Zimbabwe.

At Sunday’s press conference in Franceville, southern Gabon, Leekens added: “The most important thing when you are a professional, when you have a chance, is that you take that chance.”

Algeria, with current African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez in their ranks, meet Senegal in Franceville while the other game takes place at the same time in Gabon’s capital Libreville.

“We will do everything to win our game and qualify for the quarter-finals,” added veteran defender Djamel Mesbah.

“Our chances are negligible but when our backs are against the wall and we need a little sparkle to get out of a crisis, that is when we are strong. I have no worries about that.”

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