Ivory Coast are top of Group E after beating Africa Cup of Nations champions Algeria 3-1 on Thursday. Despite sitting last in Group E before the match, Algeria still have a chance to reach the group stages in the final group match against Ivory Coast.
Despite sitting last in Group E before the match, Algeria still have a chance to reach the group stages in the final group match against Ivory Coast.
Algeria’s 35-match unbeaten run ended in a stunning draw for Equatorial Guinea in their last match, and they also lost to the Ivorians, who could have scored more goals in a better finish.
However, the reigning champions lacked any bites in their performance and their rivals were quite different, playing with a host of strengths and certain finishing skills in the clinic.
Franck Kessie’s run in the box started the team 1-0 before Ibrahim Sangaré’s unmarked ball was doubled before the break. Down by two, the game was unattainable for Algeria but Nicolas Pépé continued to hit the ball in the net 3-0 just after the restart.
Things will only get worse for the management after Riyad Mahrez was given a chance to pull another in the penalty area but hit the mud on the post.
However, their enthusiasm never faded, and Sofiane Bendebka came off the bench to make things 3-1 with 15 minutes to go.
But there was to be no miraculous comeback for the holders, and it could have been even worse for them but Sebastien Haller’s stoppage-time header was ruled out for offside.