Algeria won Tuesday (October 15th) in friendly against Colombia (3-0). The champions of Africa could count on Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez (doubled). The Greens have literally ignited Pierre Mauroy stadium already inflated to block.
From our special correspondent in Lille,
The atmosphere was warm and the stadium Pierre-Mauroy Lille has turned into a real cauldron. Once again, the Algerian selection has been refueling. Inside the LOSC, the 40,000 tickets available to see the 2019 African champions were sold in less than 48 hours. Supporters came sometimes from afar, like this group of friends who made 13 hours of bus between Grenoble and the north of France. Another arrived from London with wife and children. In the subway, the songs of the fans were largely audible. " Certainly, they go to the stage, " slips a seventy-year-old to his wife, winking in support.
Green in the streets of Lille
All afternoon, the Grand Place of Lille was in the colors of Algeria. Three hours before the meeting, a father and his son were hoping to find the star of the day near the stadium to salute their undefeated team for 15 matches in all competitions (12 wins, 3 draws). The last defeat of the Fennecs dates back to 16 October 2018 against Benin (0-1).
Even Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi, a 1,500-meter silver medalist at the Doha World Cup, is kicking off. Just before the meeting, to make the audience wait, two giant screens broadcast the goals of the selection at the last CAN under the cries of the public.
Eighteen years after the friendly match against France at the Stade de France interrupted in the 76th minute after the invasion of the lawn, faced with the fear of further overflows, the government has maximized the security system. No less than 800 stewards were mobilized for the meeting. " The match is considered risky because of the exuberance of supporters on both sides that fears overflowing, " said the northern prefecture without communicating " in detail " the " mobilized force ".
Do not spoil the party
At the time of the CAN 2019, " in Lille, Roubaix and Maubeuge, the many joyous, jovial and family events of joy, had been disturbed by troublemakers who tried to spoil the party and to assault the police ", Continued the prefecture of the North.
During the first period of the day's meeting, two firecrackers were fired and the organizer threatened to stop the game in case of recidivism. Before the kickoff, in a video, the coach of the Greens, Djamel Belmadi, hoped that the evening is under the best auspices. Two supporters entered the field in injury time despite everything. " It was a great atmosphere and we felt at home. The fans did a wonderful job. There was a small incident at the end with two people who wanted to spoil the party by entering the lawn, "says Belmadi.
Side field, after the draw against DR Congo last Thursday (1-1), the coach has appealed to a large part of the squad that won the second title continental in Egypt. As in the final, Islam Slimani is on the bench. Youcef Atal, who could not be lined up against Senegal due to injury, is one of the holders. Just like Feghouli, Guedioura or Mahrez.
Mahrez drives the nail
Faced with Colombia, the Fennecs intended to gauge before the first day of the qualifiers for CAN 2021 in November against Zambia. The Greens did not take very long to capsize the Pierre Mauroy stadium with a superb strike in full skylight Baghdad Bounedjah (15th). The Al Sadd Sports Club player in Qatar scored his 14th goal in 32 appearances with Algeria. Five minutes later, Riyad Mahrez also scored his 14th goal in the selection (56 caps). By touching the crossbar after a powerful shot from right, Bounedjah had the means to drive the nail (28th).
It was finally Riyad Mahrez who did it in the 65th minute of a curling shot from the left after a Bounedjah pass. As in the group stage of the last CAN against Tanzania, the slogan "One, two, three - Viva Algeria" is in order.
" It was incredible to play against Colombia. We waited for him impatiently. It was a great opportunity to progress. We will have to renew this kind of meeting. We must confront the big nations and also tackle matches on the African continent where there are more small teams. But it's true, success brings confidence, "admits Belmadi, who is now dreaming of playing against France in Algeria.
" It's a mature team that is stabilizing. There are a lot of very good individuals like Mahrez, "says coach Carlos Queiroz.
In Lille, this Tuesday night, it was a bit as if the Fennecs, most of them trained in France, had come to celebrate their title in the Hexagon.