GAME: Mexico National Team vs. Algeria National Team
DATE: Tuesday, October 13th
TIME: 3 pm ET (2 pm CT)
VENUE: Cars Jeans Stadion - La Haya, Netherlands
With Mexico coming off a surprisingly positive 1-0 result last week vs. Netherlands, they now turn their heads to another extremely difficult and challenging meet with Algeria, as they prepare to end their mini-European tour. While many don’t know much about the African side, they’d be surprised if they were told more about the story, which is what I’m about to do. Let’s have a look at both sides.
Mexico come into this match winners of their last seven matches in a row, with Netherlands being the most relevant. The other six victims include Trinidad y Tobago, Bermuda (twice), Panama (twice), and Guatemala; not exactly the lineup of rivals you’d expect a quality team like Mexico to be squaring off with. In fact, their last loss came to a quality National Team, Argentina. Mexico lost that one by 4-0 back in September of 2019. But after defeating the Netherlands, Mexico will look to confirm its relevance and quality by defeating another powerhouse.
Algeria are the current Africa Cup of Nations champions. They were crowned in the 2019 edition for the second time in their nation’s history (their first coming back in 1990). Led by head coach Djamel Belmadi, they won all three of their group stage matchups (Senegal, Keny, and Tanzania), not conceding a single goal in said stage. In fact, they only conceded two goals in the entire tournament. In the Round of 16, they defeated Guinea by a 3-0 final. They then drew even with Ivory Coast in the Quarter-finals 1-1, and won in a penalty shoot-out. Their Semi-final matchup didn’t get any easier, and still overcame a tough Nigeria squad by 2-1, and finally, reconfirmed their dominance over Senegal, defeating them a second time, this time in the Final by a 1-0 score.
More recently speaking, Algeria come into this match winners of their last three overall (Nigeria, Botswana, Zambia), again, without conceding a single goal. They even defeated the Colombia National Team in a friendly in October 2019 by a 3-0 final. As you can see, they are no scrubs. If this isn’t enough, they also have a few familiar faces on their squad; Manchester City MF/RW Riyad Mahrez headlines the list, followed by Montpellier’s ST Andy Delort, and Metz MF/FW Farid Boulaya, who started Friday’s friendly vs. Nigeria. Ex-Porto LW Yacine Brahimi is also a part of this offense. Defensively speaking, Metz GK Alexandre Oukidja, Real Betis DEF Aïssa Mandi, and Lazio LB Mohamed Fares lead this side of the pitch. It’s clear their defense is an extreme priority and strength for Belmadi.
In short, the Algeria National Team is no slouch, and for those who thought Mexico proved all it needed to vs. Netherlands last week couldn’t be more wrong. This is a perfect way to show consistency and that Mexico are ready to compete with any continent’s powerhouses, along with dependably coming away with a positive result. Raúl Jiménez and company up front should have their hands full with this physical and gritty defensive squad. With many not expecting it, a true second test in a row will stand before Mexico in La Haya, Netherlands in just a couple hours.