Algeria U23 – Match Report vs Japan U19 (31/05/2022)

It’s a small miracle that Algeria didn’t manage to beat Japan in their first match in the Tournoi Maurice Revello (The new Toulon Tournament). The Algerians played in a 4-4-2 formation, which also looked like a 4-3-3 with the two wingers moving up further and the second striker dropping back as a ’10’. After Algeria missed some big chances in the first half, it was Japan who opened the score in the 57th minute. After this Noureddine Ould Ali’s side pushed even further forward but somehow didn’t manage to score.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Adil Boulbina

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Algerian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 02/05/2003
  • Current club: Paradou AC
  • Career: Paradou AC
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Adil Boulbina was by far the most dangerous player on the side of Algeria however, he also missed the biggest chance of the game. In the 80th minute Boulbina received a great cross from the right at around 3 meters from the goal. It looked like an easy tap-in but the winger still managed to get the ball over the crossbar. The 19-year-old played as the left-winger and was a constant threat for Japan. Boulbina was very active out of possession by dropping back to receive the ball but also made a couple of very good runs in behind the defenders. I couldn’t find any data on his height but Boulbina looks to be around 180cm with an average build. He didn’t look too explosive on the first few meters but once he got up to pace he looked a lot faster than some of the Japanese defenders. What made him even more dangerous was his agility he could easily change direction at high speed with the ball, making him harder to defend.

Boulbina saw a lot of the ball today and showed a lot of great things. I’ll start at his biggest area of improvement though, which is probably his decision making. Boulbina is a player who plays with a lot of confidence and loves to take on his opponents, which he does very well but he shouldn’t overdo it. There were quite some moments where he should just play a little more simple or put in a cross. Technically the Algerian looked very strong. He dribbled at his opponents with confidence and was able to beat them by cutting inside to his right foot with some stepovers or by going around them to his left foot. His right foot looked like his preferred foot but he also showed that he has a strong left foot.

Rating – A2

Adil Boulbina was the youngest Algerian in the starting XI but also one of the best ones. I definitely think he could make a move to Europe and Belgium could be a good destination for him. Last season Abdelkahar Kadri made the move from Paradou to KV Kortrijk and I think that Boulbina would also be a good player for them.

Yanis Guermouche

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Algerian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 15/04/2001
  • Current club: HSC Montpellier
  • Career: HSC Montpellier
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Yanis Guermouche played as the deepest striker in Algeria’s 4-4-2 and had a quiet match before he got subbed off in the 52nd minute of the game. The 21-year-old striker should’ve opened the score for his side. In the ninth minute he received the ball on the edge of the Japanese box. He used his body very well to keep his opponent away and created some space for himself. His shot from a difficult angle was saved though. Just two minutes later he had the second biggest chance of the whole game. After a good low cross from the left Guermouche got a chance to score from around 6 meters out but he didn’t manage to beat the Japanese goalkeeper who did very well.

Guermouche has an impressive physical presence and was bullying the Japanese defenders with his strength. The 21-year-old stands at 192cm and looked very strong in his offensive duels. He didn’t look very fast but made his attacking positioning was good. He was always scanning well and made smart moves in the open channels. On the ball he looked a little clumsy. His basic technique looked fine but one instance stood out for me where he tried to take on his opponent on the wing and then tripped over his own feet.

Rating – B2

Guermouche didn’t show a lot this game and it was deserved that he was taken off. I don’t want to write him off based on this match though as I think he could be a really useful striker and I want to see more of him.

Anis Hadj Moussa

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Algerian
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 11/02/2002
  • Current club: RC Lens B
  • Career: RC Lens (Y)
  • Position: Right Wing
  • Secondary Position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Left

Anis Hadj Moussa played as the right-winger in Algeria’s 4-4-2 and didn’t impress me this game. The 20-year-old was very sloppy in his passing, too predictable and needed too much time on the ball. Hadj Moussa is quite small standing at around 170-175cm if I had to guess but looked pretty agile. He would always drop back to receive the ball at his feet and I barely saw him sprint, making it hard to really judge how fast he is. Technically Hadj Moussa looked very strong. He had some good first touches and tight control over the ball, but he simply did too little with it. He would always cut inside to his left foot but would then either lose the ball or play a simple pass. The winger had a pretty big chance in the 73rd minute, after right back Azzi played a good pass back he completely missed the target with his shot. Without the ball, he worked quite hard defensively but was pretty invisible for big parts of the game.

Rating – C

Hadj Moussa simply didn’t show enough this match. He didn’t look too bad technically but that was about all he had going for himself.

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