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North Africa Sports

Mexico Hold 10-Man Algeria To 2-2 Draw In Friendly2 minutes read



Algeria gave up a 2-1 lead at the death and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their friendly against Mexico at The Hague on Tuesday.

The draw extended the North Africans unbeaten run to 20 games.

Ismael Bennacer and Riyad Mahrez scored for Algeria but they had to play much of the second half down to 10-men after midfielder Adlene Guedioura was sent off for a second booking.

The African champions came from behind to lead when already at a numerical disadvantage, but gave up an 86th-minute equaliser to Diego Lainez.

In Utrecht, Japan’s late substitute Naomichi Ueda struck a stoppage-time winner against the Cote de’ Ivoire, who had let key attacker Wilfried Zaha return to his club Crystal Palace before the match after an injury scare.

Nigeria took a 21st-minute lead in Sankt Veit an der Glan against Tunisia through Kelechi Iheanacho, but Mohamed Drager tapped in for the equaliser just before the interval.

Morocco went ahead against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Rabat through Dutch-born defender Noussair Mazraoui on the stroke of halftime, but were stunned by a 60th-minute equaliser for Yoane Wissa with the game ending 1-1.

Veteran Mateus Galiano scored twice as Angola hammered Mozambique 3-0 in Rio Maior, Portugal, while Niger were 1-0 home winners over Sierra Leone.

Senegal called off their home friendly against neighbours Mauritania just hours before kick off on Tuesday because of COVID-19 infections in the visitors’ camp.

The announcement by the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) brought to four the number of internationals involving African countries called off over the last two days because of the novel coronavirus infections or concerns over infections.

Senegal, already without talisman Sadio Mane who last week tested positive, were due to host the game in Thies.

The FSF statement said that after testing, eight members of the Mauritanian party were found to be positive, forcing the cancellation.

New infections in Mali’s camp led to the cancellation of Tuesday’s friendly against Iran in Antalya, Turkey.

It was called off on Monday after two more infections in the Mali squad added to four positive cases last week.

Gambia’s match against Guinea in Portugal was also called off 24 hours before kick off because of alleged COVID-19 infections in the Guinea camp that left them with just nine players available.

Another planned friendly in Portugal at the weekend between Angola and Guinea Bissau was also cancelled.

The Angolan federation said their Guinea Bissau opponents had not taken tests in time and because the results would only be available after the kick off, the game was cancelled.

North Africa Sports

Cameroonian Referee, Sidi Alioum, To Officiate CAF Confed Cup Final



The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has named Cameroon’s Sidi Alioum as referee for the Confederation Cup final.

The Confed Cup final match between RS Berkane of Morocco and Egyptian side, Pyramids, holds later tonight.

RS Berkane progressed to the final after overcoming Hassania Aghadir 2-1 in the semi-finals of the competition.

On the other hand, Pyramids beat Horoya 2-0, thanks to late goals from Ibrahim Hassan and Abdallah El-Said.

Ahead of the final, CAF have decided to assign Cameroonian referee Alioum the duty to take charge of the game.

Alioum will be joined by his countryman Elvis Noupoue, and Chadian, Issa Yaya, as his assistants, and Gabonese referee Castane Otogo as the fourth official.

The CAF Confederation Cup final between Pyramids and RS Berkane will be determined through a single game and is set to take place on Sunday, October 25th.

Kick-off takes place at 20:00 West African Standard Time.

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North Africa Sports

CAF To Postpone Champions League Semi-Final Clash Due to Coronavirus



The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has reportedly agreed to postpone the second leg of the Champions League match between Zamalek of Egypt and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca. This came after nine players of Raja tested positive for the coronavirus forcing the club to officially request a postponement by CAF.

CAF sent a letter to the clubs playing in the African Champions League and Confederation Cup stating that the body’s inter-club organising committee has decided if a team registers less than five Covid-19 cases, their match cannot be postponed.

Meanwhile, the Moroccan health authorities have prevented the club from leaving the country following the spate of positive COVID-19 tests in the club. “The Moroccan authorities have withdrawn the special authorisation given to the club to travel outside the country,” an official revealed. Raja, who lost the first leg 1-0 at home last Sunday, were due to play the return match at the Cairo International Stadium this Saturday.

Four of the Raja team that started against Zamalek — defender Ilias Haddad, midfielders Omar Arjoune and Mouhcine Moutouali and forward Abdelilah Hafidi — are among those who tested positive.

Moroccan media also named midfielder Abderrahim Achchakir and forwards Anas Jabroun, Ayoub Nanah and Mohamed Zrida as the affected players. Celebrations after Raja this month became Moroccan champions for the first time in seven years have been blamed for the Covid-19 outbreak.

CAF’s agreement to the postponement is raising major controversy. Guinea’s Horoya were forced to play their CAF Confederations Cup semi-finals against egypt’s Pyramids FC in Morrocco despite travelling for the tie with a 16-man squad after 12 players in the squad tested positive for the virus.

The African football body also turned down a similar requests made by Hassania Agadir after seven of its players contracted the virus ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup semi final against Renaissance de Berkane (RB) which they eventually lost 2-1.

Meanwhile Zamalek president Mortada Mansour has rewarded the Zamalek squad with a $3,200 bonus each after a 1-0 away win over Raja Casablanca of Morocco in a CAF Champions League semi-final first leg.

“Each player will receive the same amount as a bonus if they win the return match,” promised Mansour.

He also added that a much bigger bonus will be offered if Zamalek go on to win the elite African club competition for the first time in 18 years.

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North Africa Sports

Egypt Fall To 52nd Position As Senegal Remain Top African Side In FIFA Ranking



The Pharoah’s of Egypt dropped one position in this month’s FIFA global rankings, down to 52nd place after six months of suspension of international games due to coronavirus pandemic.

Despite losing one place in the FIFA’s monthly ranking, the Pharaohs kept their seventh place among African countries, behind Senegal (21), Tunisia (26), Algeria (30), Nigeria (32), Morocco (39), and Ghana (48).

Egypt played draws against Kenya and Comoros in their opening qualifying games for the next Africa Cup of Nations last year, will host Togo in the 3rd round of the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on 14 November.

There were some changes in the October rankings for other African teams with Senegal dropping on place, Algeria jumping one position, Nigeria dropping three places, and Morocco jumping four places.

Egypt, who made it into the world’s top ten teams after they won consecutive African Cup of Nations trophies in 2006, 2008 and 2010, are also placed fourth among Arab countries, after Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Belgium lead an unchanged top four national teams including France, Brazil and England.

The best mover in the new ranking was Malta, jumping 6 places to the 180th place, while the biggest drop belonged Rmania’s, who fell ten spots to 44th place.

FIFA world rankings (September world ranking in parenthesis):

  1. Belgium (1)
  2. France (2)
  3. Brazil (3)
  4. England (4)
  5. Portugal (5)
  6. Spain (7)
  7. Uruguay (6)
  8. Argentina (9)
  9. Croatia (8)
  10. Colombia (10)

Top ten African teams:

  1. Senegal (20)
  2. Tunisia (26)
  3. Algeria (35)
  4. Nigeria (29)
  5. Morocco (43)
  6. Ghana (46)
  7. Egypt (51)
  8. Cameroon (53)
  9. Mali (57)
  10. Burkina Faso (57)

Top five Arab teams:

  1. Tunisia (26)
  2. Algeria (35)
  3. Morocco (43)
  4. Egypt (51)
  5. Qatar (55)

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