Arab Cup: Algeria beats Tunisia and successfully completes Qatar 2022 test


By Samindra Kunti in Al Khor, Qatar

December 20 – In an all-North African final, Algeria beat Tunisia 2-0 with overtime goals from Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi to win their first Arab Cup, a tournament that served as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup hosts, Qatar.

After 90 minutes of entertaining, intense and at times fiery football, the drama has come into overtime. The African champions opened the scoring with a wonderful strike from substitute Sayoud before Brahimi, clear on goal with Tunisia throwing all ahead in search of an equalizer, clinched the crown with Algeria’s second.

“We are champions, that’s what matters,” said Algeria coach Madjid Bougherra, who replaced senior coach Djamel Belmadi during the tournament.

“Most of our players haven’t played together. It was their first competition together. My players were able to evolve together. It wasn’t easy from a physical standpoint, with six games in 17 days. Some games have started well, others not so well. My players were wonderful.

“It was not easy to play every three days. We played against tough teams, always up to the task – Egypt, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia.

Algeria played with a reserve team because the clubs were not obliged to release their players for the Arab Cup, a competition outside the FIFA calendar. Even so, the victory will bolster Algeria’s credentials for retaining its African crown in the continental final, which for now, will take place in January and February in Cameroon. The defending champions will start their campaign against Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone in Group E.

The final was a Maghrebi affair, underlining the domination of North Africa over the competition. Of the ten Asian countries participating in the Arab Cup, only Qatar reached the bottom four, with Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt completing the roster of the semi-finals. Morocco, favorites after an invincibility in the group stage, fell to the future champions.

Carlos Queiroz and Egypt finished fourth after losing the third-place game to host country Qatar, but the Portuguese coach has always viewed the tournament as a warm-up for the Africa Cup of Nations and the qualifiers. of the World Cup in March.

FIFA has taken control of the tournament, last held in 2021, in an expanded 16-team format to give local organizers another dry run ahead of next year’s main tournament. The Arab Cup went largely without noticeable incident and organizers managed to hold the tournament in a bio-secure environment amid a new wave of covid infections around the world.

In fact, as the tournament progressed, the Arab world became more addicted. More than 500,000 tickets have been sold for the 32 matches at six venues, which will also serve as World Cup stadiums.

“The FIFA Arab Cup has given us a golden opportunity to put our plans into practice and prepare for the FIFA World Cup next year,” said Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater, in a press release.]

Ras Abou Stadium

“It was a new opportunity to work closely with our FIFA colleagues to organize a high-level tournament after hosting the FIFA Club World Cup twice in recent years. Our accomplishments are numerous: state-of-the-art tournament venues, high ticket allocations – including record sporting participation in Qatar – and impressing visiting teams with our facilities, organization and hospitality. Everything is in place to host an exceptional edition of the FIFA World Cup in 2022. “

However, on the sidelines, questions remain for the hosts after years of scrutinizing corruption allegations to win World Cup hosting rights and the country’s human rights record. On Saturday, FIFPRO and the Construction and Woodworkers International (BWI) again called on Qatar to ensure the protection of workers’ and human rights.

Contact the author of this story at moc.l1640126973laboratory1640126973ofdlr1640126973I must1640126973sni @ i1640126973tnuk.1640126973ardni1640126973mas1640126973


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