Al Ahli Star Riyad Mahrez Fires Back at Critics After Algeria's Slow Start to AFCON

Al Ahli Star Riyad Mahrez Fires Back at Critics After Algeria's Slow Start to AFCON

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Algeria logo
Riyad Mahrez logo
R. Mahrez
Al-Ahli SFC logoFAlgeria logo
Al-Ahli SFC logo
Al-Ahli SFC
Saudi Arabia
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
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Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
  • Riyad Mahrez has now responded to Algeria's critics
  • The Carthage Eagles are yet to win a game at AFCON
  • Algeria will face Mauritania in their final group game

Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez has replied to critics of the national team following their slow start to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d'Ivoire.

The 2019 champions are winless in two matches, drawing against Angola and Burkina Faso in their Group D games.

Algeria will next face Mauritania in their final group game, hoping to secure a place in the last 16 of the competition.

Riyad Mahrez, Algeria, AFCON, Burkina Faso.
Riyad Mahrez in action for Algeria during their game against Burkina Faso. Credit: @CAF_Online.
Source: Twitter

Despite having a bright chance of qualifying for the next stage, the team has been heavily criticised back home for their early struggles.

“We don't listen to what is said. All the people who try to talk and believe that we have to win every match 3-0, let them stay behind their phone and their computer,” Mahrez told BeIN Sports. “We don’t listen to them at all," he added.
“We concentrate on the field, we know that we are going to do it alone, no one is going to help us. Of course, there are our people and our families, we will do it for them.
“He who wants to follow, he follows. Whoever doesn't follow through is their problem. We are on the right path."

Mahrez is yet to make a goal contribution at the tournament despite his explosive start to life in the Saudi Pro League with Al-Ahli.

The 31-year-old moved to Saudi Arabia last summer after winning the treble with Manchester City, as reported by the BBC.

Bounedjah salvages point for Algeria

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Baghdad Bounedjah scored late to rescue a point for Algeria against Burkina Faso in a Group D encounter at the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Burkina Faso appeared to have won thanks to a penalty from Aston Villa's Bertrand Traore, but Bounedjah, who had earlier equalized for Algeria, scored in the 96th minute to tie the game 2-2 and prevent the Stallions from sealing back-to-back wins.

The 32-year-old forward lost his cool after grabbing the equalizer, running towards the Algerian bench with his shirt off as the Desert Foxes celebrated his equalizer widely.

Lukman Mumuni photo
Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.