Sports News Sun, 7 Jul 2019
This can only get exciting as the games continue. Algeria take on Guinea in the next LIVE UPDATES.The Desert Foxes have been the tournament's outstanding team so far, winning all three of their matches without conceding a goal to top Group C.
Belmadi is aiming to become the first coach to guide Algeria to AFCON glory away from home soil, with their only taste of glory coming in 1990 when they beat Nigeria in the final in Algiers.
The coach said Morocco's shock defeat to Benin on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra-time gave his side a reminder of the precarity of the knockout stages.
"The group stage is like a little tournament, which we did well in," said Belmadi. "Each game now is a final.
"Morocco's loss surprised me. We have to be prepared mentally so that we don't follow. We didn't exactly need a wake-up call. If we do lose, it'll be because Guinea are the better team.
"We did not come to be the first of the group, we did not come to reach the semi-final, we came for a very different goal that we have not achieved for a very long time."
Opposite number Paul Put praised Belmadi's achievements so far and said his side's mental strength would be pivotal if they are to reach the quarter-finals.
Guinea have reached the AFCON final once, finishing as runners-up to Morocco in 1976, and they have won one of their three matches so far, beating debutants Burundi 2-0 last time out.
"We know we can perform against Algeria," said Put. "We have to be realistic in the game and stay focused throughout.
"Belmadi is an excellent manager, and tomorrow the difference [between the two sides] will be decided by how well we prepare mentally. Facing Algeria, we need to be 200 per cent focused."
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