After failing to take their respective teams to Qatar, the head coaches of the Algerian and Egyptian national teams have stood down.
Both teams had a lead going into the second leg of the play-offs, but they couldn’t hang on, losing to Cameroon and Senegal, respectively.
When Gambian referee Bakary Gassama blew the final whistle, Algeria’s Djamel Belmadi sobbed hysterically. His team had been eliminated from the World Cup for the second time in a row.
Algeria had equalized in the 118th minute through Ahmed Touba, making the score 1-1 on the night but 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 win in Cameroon last Friday. This was enough to put them through, and the game appeared to be all but decided when Karl Toko Ekambi struck late into stoppage time to throw a monkey in the works.
Belmadi had failed to defend the AFCON championship he had won in 2019 and was seeking to make amends by qualifying for the World Cup. It was also Algeria’s first defeat at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium since the team first played there in 2004.
After a 1-1 aggregate result after 120 minutes, Carlos Queiroz was defeated by Senegal on penalty kicks for the second time. Egypt only converted one of their kicks, with Mohammed Salah skipping his effort to sum up their position.
Mane scored the game-winning goal, sending Senegal to their second consecutive World Cup appearance and forcing Queiroz to look for work.
‘Dream is over,’ Queiroz tweeted. My thanks to Egypt Federation for the opportunity to coach the National Team comes from the bottom of my heart.
‘My heartfelt gratitude and acknowledgment go out to all of my players and staff. You will always have a special place in my heart.
‘It was an honor to work alongside such devoted and talented professionals, as well as good friends.’
‘Without you, nothing in my life would be possible. I’m quite proud of you, lads.
‘To all Egyptian fans, my best wishes and heartfelt gratitude.’ ‘I look forward to the future.’
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