Unhappy finalist of the CAN in 1980, against an impregnable Nigeria at home (3-0), Algeria is then considered by many as the best African nation by the quality of its game. Organized in Libya in 1982, the continental tournament must this time to be the occasion, for the big neighbor to the East, to finally win its first African title. After dominating Zambia (1-0) and Nigeria (2-1) in the group stage (plus a 0-0 draw with Ethiopia), Mahieddine Khalef’s men face Ghana’s Black Stars in the semi-finals. finals in Benghazi.
Reduced to ten during the match after the expulsion of Ali Fergani (55th), Algeria is still in its element and leads 2-1 until the 90th minute thanks to goals from Djamel Zidane and Salah Assad . Lakhdar Belloumi and Rabah Madjer are there to form a magical quartet that we will find in Spain a few months later for an insane exploit against the FRG (2-1). Cursed by the arrangement between Germany and Austria in the World Cup, this generation will know, in this month of March, a first huge disappointment… As they spin towards a final against Libya, the Algerians are resumed in added time following an error by goalkeeper Mehdi Cerbah, which takes advantage of the one we nicknamed « Zico », Opoku Nti, to equalize. Numerically diminished and mentally weakened, Algeria bent during extra time on a goal from Georga Alhassan (3-2), already author of the opener.