REPORT: Senegal 0 Algeria 2
Senegal’s AFCON campaign ended in heartbreak in a 2-0 loss to Algeria in Malabo on Tuesday.
The Teranga Lions came into the game needing a tie to seal qualification for the quarter-finals, but Les Fennecs produced their most assured performance of the competition to deny Alain Giresse’s men.
Senegal sought to press home their physical advantage early on, but found an obdurate Majid Bougherra at the heart of the Algerian defence. The veteran captain was impeccable on the night, moreso after Algeria took the lead on 11 minutes.
A delivery into the Senegal box found Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez in space, and he gave Bouna Coundoul no chance. With South Africa leading in the other game against Ghana, Senegal were still on course to advance.
There was an enforced change as Cheick M’Bengue was badly gashed in a coming together with Aissa Mandi. Lille full-back Pape Souare took his place on the half hour.
Giresse brought on Papiss Cisse for his first appearance of the tournament ten minutes into the second half, but struggled to provide meaningful service into the Newcastle man.
The hammer-blow came with eight minutes to play on the clock. Midfielder Nabil Bentaleb found space on the edge of the box, and drilled home low into the bottom corner to confirm Algeria’s progress and send the Teranga Lions home.
Algeria finish second in Group C on six points, while Ghana top the group by virtue of a better head-to-head record.