With Escobar’s nightmares | Algerians react to the 2025 AFCON qualifiers draw

I interacted Algerian fans On a large scale with the draw for the 2025 CAN qualifiers that took place today, Thursday, July 4, their comments differed regarding the group in which the “Desert Warriors” fell, as they are living with the impact of two major failures for the “Greens” team in the last two editions of the African Cup, with the exit of Mahrez’s teammates from the first round in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, respectively.

Morocco hosts the tournament Africa Cup of Nations For the second time in its history, after hosting the 1988 edition, this edition will be held exceptionally from December 21, 2025 to January 18, 2026.

Over the course of three international breaks this year, the 2025 AFCON qualifiers will be held in September, October and November, and the teams that will qualify for the Morocco tournament will be determined.

The Algerian national team failed shockingly in its last two participations in the African Cup of Nations, as it exited in the first round, in the 2021 Cameroon version, which took place at the beginning of 2022, and then the 2023 Ivory Coast version, which took place at the beginning of this year, as the “Warriors” did not win in their last 6 matches in the “CAN”.

Algeria in Group 5 in AFCON 2025 qualifiers draw

The draw for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers placed the Algerian national team at the top of Group Five, alongside Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Liberia, which on paper appears to be in favour of Ismail Bennacer’s teammates, but reality and recent experiences have made Algerian fans reduce their optimism this time.

The Algerian national team has good memories of its confrontations with the Togolese and Liberian national teams, especially the former, with which Djamel Belmadi’s good and historic start with the Algerian national team began, in November 2018, with a victory in Lomé (4-1), and the beginning of the historic undefeated streak of 35 consecutive matches, which ended in January 2022.

2025 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers draw

The situation is different for the “Greens” against the Equatorial Guinea national team, which they faced only once in 2022 in the first round of the African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, where they lived one of their worst nightmares ever, losing 1-0 at the Japoma Stadium, losing their historic unbeaten streak (35 consecutive matches), and then the “Warriors” began to decline in level and results.

Algerian fans comment on the draw for the 2025 AFCON qualifiers

Immediately after the draw for the 2025 AFCON qualifiers, social media platforms were filled with comments from Algerian fans, who expected the match against Equatorial Guinea to be difficult, despite the optimism about qualifying, given that two teams qualified from each group. Algerians immediately recalled the match between the two teams in the “Cameroon AFCON”, and one of them commented: “We are waiting for you, the one with the pink hair,” referring to the player Eban Salvador, who was the most dangerous player in the Equatorial Guinea squad during that match.

Algerian fans react to the draw for the 2025 AFCON qualifiers

Another sarcastically added: “We are dead, it’s Equatorial Guinea,” before a fan added: “This is our chance to take revenge on the pink-haired man.” Many Algerians gathered to remember the pink-haired Equatorial Guinea player, who was a nightmare for Mandi’s teammates, and one Algerian sent him a message that read: “Oh pink-haired man, I haven’t forgotten you. You have to pass by here.”

Algerians still remember well the nightmare of the Japoma Stadium and the loss to Equatorial Guinea, which ended a historic era for Slimani’s teammates. That match was also distinguished by CAF’s appointment of a referee from Guatemala to manage it, named Mario Escobar, a name that sums up everything about the Algerians’ suffering from the weight of the historic defeat to Equatorial Guinea.

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