Gor Mahia striker tips Kenya to stretch Algerians

Thursday June 13 2019

Burundi's Francis Mustafa (left) and Algeria's Riyard Mahrez (second left) alongside their teammates pose for a photo after their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match on June 11, 2019 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. PHOTO | COURTESY |

Burundi's Francis Mustafa (left) and Algeria's Riyard Mahrez (second left) alongside their teammates pose for a photo after their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match on June 11, 2019 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. PHOTO | COURTESY |  

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Gor Mahia forward Francis Mustafa is adamant Kenya has what it takes to pick 'something' against Algeria in both teams opening game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Harambee Stars will face the Desert Foxes in a Group 'C' clash at the June 30 stadium in Cairo on June 23 and the North Africans took on Burundi in a practice match at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday night as part of the preps.

This match was played behind closed doors upon Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi's request and Burundian Mustafa featured in the final 23-minutes and helped his team pick a point from the game.

Besides Mustafa, the SportPesa Premier League was well represented in this contest with Sofapaka goalkeeper Justin Ndikumana and club mate Mousa Omar turning out for the Swallows.

The contest eventually ended in a 1-1 stalemate with Algeria scoring first courtesy of Baghdad Boundedjah in the 68th minute. Burundi equalised when Algeria's Rais M'Bolhi's turned the ball into his own net.

"Their number 10 ( Galatasaray's Sofiane Feghouli) is their (Algeria's) main man," noted Mustafa, Gor's Sh2 million signing from Rwanda's Kiyovu last year.

"He is more dangerous than (Manchester City's Riyard) Mahrez. He controls the game from midfield, and sprays passes with either side of the foot. If you take him out, you reduce their chances by 50-percent."

"They are a very quick side. Their transition from defence to attack is so fast if you are not careful they can get you flat-footed. They also go down quickly especially in and around the box in search for free-kicks. For us, we decided to sit deep and defend and only play counters."

Algeria will continue their preparations with yet another game against Mali at the same venue on Sunday.

Burundi have been drawn with Nigeria, Guinea, and Madagascar in Group 'B'.

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