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FIFA Club World Cup

Bounedjah concedes he returned to action too early after Algeria's Afcon success

1:30 AM GMT+8 13/12/2019
Al Sadd's Baghdad Bounedjah - CWC 2019
The Algeria international was speaking after being named man of the match in Al Sadd’s Club World Cup win over Hienghene Sport

Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah believes his swift return to action after Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations success in July contributed to his slow start this season.

The frontman netted the winning goal in the Desert Foxes’ 1-0 win over Senegal at the final of the showpiece, bringing the trophy home for the first time since 1990.

Speaking after Al Sadd’s 3-1 win over Hienghene Sport in the Club World Cup, Bounedjah shed more light on why he has been less than prolific this term.

“After the Africa Cup of Nations, I went back to training right away and didn’t rest well,” the forward told Fifa.com after his man of the match performance against Hienghene.

“That’s why I haven’t scored as many goals as last year, but I am working hard to regain my best form.”

On Wednesday’s victory: “We could’ve scored three in the first half and then it would’ve been a different story, but luck wasn't on our side," he said.

"We also missed some very easy chances due to lack of focus in front of goal. We didn’t doubt our ability to win today as we controlled the game from beginning to end.

“They got their goal from their only chance. We fought back and scored the second after missing more than five chances. We were able to kill the game in extra time.”

When asked about their next game against Australian outfit Monterrey, the attacker emphasized the need to be focused and prepared if they’re to progress to the semi-final.

“We focused on our first match against Hienghene, now it’s over and we are through to the second round we will think about the Monterrey game.

“We will need to be more switched-on if we want to beat them and progress to the semi-final.”

Al Sadd face Monterrey on Saturday, December 14 for a place in the last four of the Club World Cup.