MALI 2002 - The African Cup Of Nations XXIII 
   The qualification - match reports

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African Nations Cup MALI 2002

schedule, tables:


GROUP 4, week1:

Sep 3, 1853 GMT Algeria - Burkina Faso  1:1 (final) 

Before the match: 
The big story is the first appearance of French based star player Ali Benarbia (French champion as key player with Monaco, Bordeaux, now at PSG) for Algeria. Benarbia had long hesistated to play for Algeria which would have ruled out a possible appearance for France (It is not known to me whether those are speculations or the real reason or whether there are several). But Burkina Faso will be unwilling to play just baclkground scenario to a great welcome. The West Africans with the talented youth players want to qualify for a third Nations Cup in a row and establish themselves in the African premier league. They have successfully defied consistency by firing coaches after short periods, but in this point Algeria have not acted much different. 

1st half: 
-('1) Algeria: a 16 meter shocker hits the crossbar of the Burkinabé goal 
-('4) Algeria: spectacular bycicle kick but far across the bar. 
-the whole team seems inspired by the Benarbia arrival - spectacular football so far. Burkina Faso with their young star Mamadou Zongo tries to join the show but gets stripped of the ball quickly 
-('8) Algeria: #11 tries to convert a crossball from the left hand side in spectaclular sidefoot manor while flying through the air but the ball flies across the bar 
-('9) good save by the Burkinabé keeper against a low shot from short distance after Algeria has played a corner by low cominations instead of a cross 
-('13)('14) Burkina Faso launch their first attacks 
-('14) already the second yellow card against BFA, at least the first one was a harsh decision 
- a match of a surprising quality in the first 15 minutes, but now defences seem to get the upper hand 
-('17) already third yellow: this time for Algerian #11 for handball - the referee has set the standards very tight right away 
-('18) Algeria: great backheel trick (by Benarbia?) sets up a dangerous attack on the left hand side but Burkina Faso can rescue on the expense of a series of dangerous corners 
-('21) another sensational Agerian attack ignited by Benarbia but stopped short of becoming a big threat 
-unbelievable how the arrival of one player has turned Algeria into a top team - but warning: in the recent past their problem had been cobnverting opportunities into goals and yet it is still 0:0 with Burkina Faso not looking harmless upfront 
-('26) Again it is Benarbia with a huge scene penetrating into the penalty area against three defenders but his latheral pass does not get through 
-('27) Burkina Faso suggest once more they will get chances in the progress of the match 
-('29) a through ball by Benarbia creates a dangerous situation and Algerians want penalty when a striker falls after he has contact with a defender as he wants to shoot 
-('30) as expected the pace of refereeing has found his first victim: Burkina Faso #18 receives his second yellow card for a late challenge 
-('32) Algeria: # 18 (Saifi?) with a sharp diagonal shot missing narrowly wide left 
-('34) #10 Tasfaout tries it almost from the same spot with a volley - with the same result 
-more half chances for Algeria as Burkina Faso now do not produce any more attacks and concentrate on defending 
-('41) example play: the Burkinabé keeper can get hold of the ball and kicks it right away into attack but there is one striker alone against three defenders and three midfield players running back, so the balll comes right away into the Algerian attack again, hardly time to take a breath for the Burklina Faso defence - there is a missing Burkina Faso midfield now (after the red card) 
-('43) Burkina Faso: the striker has gainesd a free kick which comes as a dangerous low ball into the penalty area and gets deflected for a corner 

halftime 0:0 
A good match after a brilliant atart by Algeria. But the old weakness - converting the chances - starts to hhaunt Algeria. At least they have forced a red card against Burkina Faso who will probably complain about the harsh refereeing. After the card it looked like Burkina Faso will play for a draw. But this will become a long, long way. 

2nd half: 
-('48)('49) Algeria: Tasfaout - Benarbia - #9 ? - a  first second half opportunity followed by another attempt across the bar a minute later (#11) 
-('50) spectacular save by the Burkina Faso keeper against a Tasfaout header 
-('52) great goal by Burkina Faso: Mamasdou Zongo entertains three defenders, then a low latheral pass to #9 who scores into the upper right triangle of the net - 0:1 
-('55) Tasfaout gets through but again the keeper can save the close range shot 
-('58) Burkina Faso: #11 tries a solorun but 4 defenders are too much 
-('59) BFA: It is Zongo (#10) again who almost gets through with a slalom  
-Benarbia is still the architect of most Algerian attacks with skillful passing 
-Burkina Faso does not make the mistake of being too passive but pays just for that on a counter attack: 
-('62) Tasfaout scores by a low shot from close range, he had driven the ball through midfield and tried a one-two which worked with the the foot of a defender who tried to step in - 1:1 
-('65) a perfectly run Algerian attack ends with a dangerous shot by #11 from 16 meters narrowly across the bar 
-('68) the Burkinabé keeper gets treated for several minutes 
-('73) A Benarbia backheel pass ignites  another exciting opportunity for Algeria - but might have been offside 
-('75) Burkina Faso scores on the answer but is ruled offside 
-('76) only seconds later it is Algeria again with a shot wide left 
-('77) this time it is Algeria #9 who targets wide from 10 meters half right  
-('79) in the last moment a Burkina Faso defender throws himself into a #9 volley - corner 
-('80) a cross ball into the penalty are and somehow after touching two players the ball bounces against the goalpost and back into the field 
-('85) nearly an own goal by Burkina Faso - the ball goes out for a corner 
-('86) the goal proves too small once more for Algerian shooting 
-('90) a low shot from distance is mastered by the Burkina Faso keeper - on the opposite site it is #11 who becomes dangerous but eventually caged by the Algerian defence 
-('injury time) defender #6 in the last moment takes the ball off the foot of #9 as he wants to score from close range 
-('injury time) Algeria score - but it is ruled offside (hand?)- 

final result 1:1 
Ali Benarbia (with Tasfaout) did everything: free kicks, corners, passing, backheel tricks, inspiring his teammates - but eventually he could not influence the Algerian scoring crisis. Although you could not say the strikers did bad - the cool finisher was not among them today. A pity because of the sophisticated football Algeria played. Burkina Faso had a special task anyway, after being reduced to 10 for 60 of the 90 minutes 


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