Uncapped Ahmed Kashi and discarded fullback Liassine Cadamuro were confirmed on Monday as replacements for Algeria in their African Nations Cup finals squad after injury to Essaid Belkalem and Mehdi Abeid, the Algerian Football Federation said.
French-born Kashi from Metz has not yet played for Algeria but Cadamuro, on the books of Osasuna in Spain, was part of their squad at last year’s World Cup finals in Brazil and the last Nations Cup finals in South Africa two years ago.
Algeria are Africa’s top ranked nation but have been drawn in a tough Group C with Ghana, Senegal and South Africa at the tournament in Equatorial Guinea, which kicks off on January 17.
Meanwhile, substitute Thuso Phala came on to score an 81st minute winner for South Africa as they began their African Nations Cup preparations with a 1-0 home win over fellow finalists Zambia at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.
Phala hit home the winner off the underside of the crossbar after being set up by fellow substitute Bernard Parker in a morale boosting win for South Africa, who are drawn in a difficult group at this month’s finals in Equatorial Guinea. Both sides struggled after the holiday break to find form just days after assembling for their pre-tournament preparations but the game livened up in the second half, reports Reuters.
Phala missed an easy close-in sitter just five minutes after his goal. South Africa are in Group C with Algeria, Ghana and Senegal while 2012 champions Zambia play in Group B against the Cape Verde Islands, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tunisia.