Mane fires flanks as Algeria stun Senegal in Group C AFCON thriller
- Senegal vs Algeria Group C clash ended 1-0 in favour of the Desert Foxes
- Belaili scored the solitary goal that separated the two sides
- Algeria are now through to the round of 16
Youcef Belaïli's strike was the difference as Africa Cup of Nations Group C heavyweights Senegal and Algeria locked horns on Thursday, June 27, at 30 June Stadium in Egypt.
This was the 10th meeting between the two sides, with the teams' last encounter ending in a four-goal thriller after playing out a 2-2 draw during the 2017 AFCON in Gabon.
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The two sides came into the match in fine form, having won their first round of group matches.
Senegal cruised past Tanzania in their opening group stage clash that finished 2-0, before Algeria outplaying Kenya to win by a similar scoreline.
However, neither side could find the back of the net in the first-half of their Thursday meeting despite Senegal reinforcing their attackline with the return of Sadio Mane.
A tense and even contest wavered between moments of high quality and long stretches of niggly duelling punctuated the half, with Senegal starting relatively strong.
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But Algeria settled in early enough, creating a few of good chances that they could not convert.
However, upon the resumption of the second-half, Algeria broke the deadlock, with Youcef Belaili taking a nice touch to smash in a low finish into the back of the net in the 49th minute.
Senegal had a penalty appeal denied in the 74th minute after Adlene Guedioura and Ramy Bensebaini sandwiching Sadio Mane in the box but the referee waved play on.
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Undettered, the Lions of Teranga nearly bagged an equaliser soon after via Youssouf Sabaly who worked a yard before hammering an effort at goal which was brilliantly parried out by Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi.
The Desert Foxes eventually managed to hold on to claim maximum points make it through to the last 16.
Senegal will now be seeking to earn maximum points in their last group match against Kenya to increase their chances of progressing to the next round.
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