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Rio Olympics: Algeria eager for a perfect start against Honduras



Algeria will get Africa's quest for 2016 Olympic glory underway when they face Honduras in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.


The North Africans will be eager to impress having qualified for the football tournament at the world showpiece for only the second time.

Joined in Group D alongside Portugal and two-time (2004 and 2008) gold medal winners Argentina; Algeria know they will have to beat Honduras if they are to stand any realistic chance of booking their place in the quarterfinals.

Algeria last qualified for the football tournament in 1980, two years before the senior team notably trumped West Germany at the FIFA World Cup in Spain.

The Fennec Foxes currently boast their best group of players for three decades and hopes are high that the U23 team can add to the success achieved by the North Africans in Brazil two years ago.

Algeria lost to Germany in the Round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in the South American country.

Algeria, though, were unable to lure any of their star players to the Olympics with the squad mostly compiled from players plying their trade in their homeland.

Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani were tipped as possible overage players, but neither the Leicester City winger on Sporting forward received the stamp of approval from their respective club side's.

Algeria qualified for this year's showpiece following a a second-placed finish at the 2015 U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal. Pierre-André Schürmann's men eventually losing to Nigeria in the final.

Furthermore, Honduras have qualified for their fourth Olympic football tournament - their third in succession.

Kick-off at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange is scheduled for 15h00 (local time), 20h00 CAT. 
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