Following a 1-0 win over AFCON favourites Senegal, Algeria have topped their group and thus confirmed qualification to the last 16.
AFCON 2019 is nearing its most exciting phase. Algeria and Senegal squared off at the Cairo Stadium for what was touted as one of the most exciting games of the competition. Both teams needed a win to seal a place in the last 16 and secure a more favourable draw.
Liverpool star, Sadio Mane was playing his first game in the competition. The two pretournament favourites had already started their AFCON journey in style. The Lions of Teranga secured a routine 2-0 win over Tanzanio. The Fennecs on the other hand, beat Kenya 2-0 without any fuss.
For this game, Aliou Cisse relied on a 4-4-2 formation with the duo of Mbaye Niang and Sadio Mane up top. Djamel Belmadi chose a more chained 4-2-3-1 formation which was suited to Riyad Mahrez’s devastating qualities.
Initially, Sadio Mane created a lot of havoc in the Algerian defense but the Fennces held firm. Algeria tested Senegal through Youcef Belaili but Mendy held firm as well. With both teams trading blows throughout the first half hour, it was only a matter of time for the game’s first goal to arrive.
However, both defences held firm and the game went scoreless as both teams headed for halftime break. Riyad Mahrez created a great chance to give his team the lead but his freekick was not conneceted well by Boundejah.
Seconds later, Yousef Belaili opened the scoring for his team. In face of some serious Senegalese resistance, the Algerians stood their ground and secured a crucial victory over the AFCON favourites.
With six points from two games, Algeria are guaranteed top spot. Senegal on the other hand, need to beat Kenya in order to guarantee progression to the next round. The race for AFCON is gathering speed and Algeria would be eager to kick off the next round.