Le sélectionneur de l’équipe somalienne Rachid Lousteque

World Cup 2026 (Q): Somalia coach is not afraid of Algeria

Counting for the first day of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, the Algeria-Somalia match is anything but a David versus Goliath duel, according to Ocean Stars coach Rachid Lousteque, who does not intend to capitulate without a fight.

The first day of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers continues this Thursday with a meeting between Algeria and Somalia. An unbalanced match, a priori, between the big favorite of group G and the little thumb. With a contingent of stars, led by captain Riyad Mahrez, the Fennecs should logically snatch all three points of the game.

However, this is not the opinion of Rachid Lousteque who wants to create a surprise against the North African giant. At a pre-match press conference on Wednesday, the Somalia coach showed his optimism. “We can create a surprise tomorrow. We have nothing to envy of this Algerian team… We will start with equal chances with Algeria, whose results have been irregular lately. In football, everything remains possible, on the pitch the difference in level between the teams disappears”indicated Lousteque.

With his team housed in a fairly tough group, with Algeria, Mozambique, Uganda, Botswana and Guinea, the Moroccan technician believes that his team has a say in this Cayman backwater. “The match against Algeria will start at 0-0 in the presence of 11 players against 11. The surprise factor exists in football, as evidenced by the results achieved during the last 2022 World Cup… Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi is doing a good job, and is working on rebuilding this team, something that we will try to use to our advantage”he added.