AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS - 2021
In a chance to win the 5th trophy of my beloved 14, time has come for the African Cup of Nations. I am managing the Algerian National Team and well I know I have been messing up a lot with my updates but at least I am getting results. We are drawn in Group B with Nigeria, Senegal and Gabon. We should progress from this group in all honestly, and 3 points against Gabon is vital.
A fantastic regen who was bred at WA Tlemcen in 2017. He will lead the forward line with captain and star player Ishak Belfodil.
Our star man and captain, he has it all. He has been at Inter since 2013 and he is a great player who has blossomed throughout his career, and he recently broke the Algerian all-time goalscoring record of 50, and he is at 54 now and he’s only 28 (in his prime)!
Lyes Gasmi, our star centre back at 20 years old! Believe it or not, he was bred at PSG making his debut in 2017, and having an average rating of 7.10! Not bad for a “rookie”, at the age of 17 in the Ligue 1. To come through the youth of Champions League Winners and 7-time consecutive French Champions PSG is a feat itself! He is to become an Algerian great, and with his leadership skills good at the age of 20, he will definitely be a captain in the future.
The man between the sticks, and this could probably be his last international tournament before the 2022 World Cup! I won’t be around by that time, so it’s not up to me.
Our box to box midfielder. He is in his prime and doing us wonders right now and I expect him to control the midfield along with Ryad Boudebouz, Mehdi Abeid and Riyad Mahrez.
We will be playing with a 4-4-2 formation, with a back four that all have roles in defending (avoiding going up as their stats aren’t that good in that department). Two wingers who will support the central midfielders and attack. We will have an Advanced Playmaker (Attack) and a BBM down the middle, with Hussein Al-Dossari occupying the DLF role and Ishak Belfodil as the Complete Forward.
Group B: Algeria vs. Gabon (Haras El Hodoud Stadium, Alexandria)
I am… baffled. 1-1? Poor. We controlled the game, even getting an early goal! It was hell in the second half, none of our shots would go on target and then their striker scored! Imagine if they had Pierre Emerick Aubameyang… it would be even worse! Nigeria and Senegal drew 2-2, meaning we have the chance to regroup and gain points in the other two games, which will be hard.
Group B: Senegal vs. Algeria (Haras El Hodoud Stadium, Alexandria)
Oh my god… 0-0? Our defence was top notch again… but where are Ishak Belfodil and Hussein Al-Dossari? What is this? They are two of the best attackers in Africa, but they can’t score. Nigeria defeated Gabon 1-0, so the group is very tight right now. A 3 point gap between the top and bottom - Gabon (1 point) and Nigeria (4 points). We need a win if we want to qualify, or a very high scoring draw (if Senegal and Gabon draw).
Group B: Algeria vs. Nigeria (Haras El Hodoud Stadium, Alexandria)
Finally! Faouzi Ghoulam and Mehdi Abeid gave us a 2-0 lead in the first 25 minutes, and Hussein Al-Dossari got his first goal for Algeria in the best way two minutes later! They pulled it back to 3-2 but Ishak Belfodil finally showed up and scored the winner which killed the game! Senegal also beat Gabon 4-1.
We should have got top spot if we won against Gabon, so next time I will learn from my mistake of putting Overload when we are winning 1-0 in last half an hour of the game.
Quarter Final: Tunisia vs. Algeria (Port Said Stadium, Port Said)
I think that this was a very fair draw, two Arab teams battling it out for a semi-final spot and I think they are on the same level as us. We could get a clean win but the bookies are going for a penalty shoot-out victory for either team.
Both attacking prowesses from each team were missing today… but now there is extra time and a penalty shoot-out in which we won. In all honesty, a win is a win so I am going to take it. Both teams dominated from periods of time but we ended up winning in the lottery. Next up is South Africa, where I will meet former friend Jacob Modise, and a few other enemies such as Bhongtholewu Jayiya.
Semi-Final: Algeria vs. South Africa (Port Said Stadium, Port Said)
A very entertaining first 20 minutes! Lyes Gasmi got his second goal for Algeria in the process, and we ended up battling it out on penalties… and we reach the Final! The whole of Algeria is ecstatic and we prove the surprise package!
FINAL: Algeria vs. Ghana (Petro Sport Stadium, Cairo)
We changed the formation around this time, due to injuries to the likes of Ryad Boudebouz, Yacine Brahimi and others. Will it help us score more goals?
Yes, yes it did. ALGERIA ARE THE AFRICAN CHAMPIONS!
I actually had fun in Africa, as I did also in FM13 with Mali. Hopefully, I can move on to Asia now (club-wise) and move on to the Americas country-wise.
5 Trophies Down, 7 more to go!