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Algeria name squad for CAF U-23 Cup of Nations
Algeria announced its 21-man squad for the upcoming CAF Under-23 Cup of Nations that will be held starting at the end of this month in Senegal. Algeria’s Swiss coach Pierre-André Schürmann went with an entirely domestic-based team after failing to convince European clubs to release their players.
Schürmann was hoping to be able to count on the European-based duo of Ramy Bensebaini (Montpellier), who participated in the final round of qualifiers in June, and Rachid Aït-Atmane (Sporting Gijón), but their clubs ultimately refused Schürmann’s request to release the players. The Swiss coach will also be without influential ASM Oran winger Mohamed Benkablia and MC Oran forward Zakaria Benchaâ due to injury.
However, his side will be boosted by the return of the USM Alger trio of Zinedine Ferhat, Ayoub Abdellaoui and Oussama Darfalou, who were all dealing with injuries in the past couple of weeks.
Algeria will be Egypt’s first opponent in the competition, with Nigeria and Mali rounding out the teams in Group B. Group A features hosts Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Tunisia. The top three teams in the competition qualify to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Algeria’s 21-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Abdelkader Salhi (ASO Chlef), Oussama Methazem (RC Arbaâ), Farid Chaâl (USM El Harrach)
Defenders: Nour Islam Salah (ASO Chlef), Miloud Rebïai (ES Sétif), Ayoub Abdellaoui (USM Alger), Ryad Kenniche (ES Sétif), Redouane Cherifi (USM Bel-Abbès), Houari Ferhani (RC Arbaâ)
Midfielders: Mohamed Reda Halaïmia (MC Oran), Zinedine Ferhat (USM Alger), Khalil Smahi (ASO Chlef), Ahmed Gagaâ (JS Kabylie), Zakaria Draoui (CR Belouizdad), Mohamed Benkhemassa (USM Alger), Raouf Benguit (Paradou AC)
Forwards: Abderrahmane Meziane Bentahar (RC Arbaâ), Zakaria Haddouche (ES Sétif), Abdelhakim Amokrane (DRB Tadjenanet), Oussama Darfalou (USM Alger)