Algeria’s victory against Benin was their first win in six games, so we should not underestimate the importance of winning 2-0.
Goals from Ramy Bensebaini and Baghdad Bounedjah mean that Belmadi’s side are now just three points away from securing their place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
It was also the first clean sheet for Algeria in nearly one year, which will be a massive boost for confidence.
And it was the confidence that has become a big talking point. Several players looked nervous against Benin, but the fans did a great job in getting behind the team and cheering which made a huge impact. Algeria are still unbeaten when playing in Blida at the Stade Tchaker.
In Baghdad Bounedjah, we have a striker that is reliable and takes his chances. He has now scored five goals in 2018 for the Desert Foxes. He also got the assist for Bensebaini’s goal.
Belmadi also made a great decision to give the captain’s armband to Riyad Mahrez for the first time in order to boost his confidence following his missed penalty at Anfield last weekend.
In what was a hugely physical game, Algeria did well to keep their cool and not overreact to the some of the rash challenges that they were on the receiving end of. Tuesday’s trip to Benin will be a tough test.