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Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 to reach last 16

Youcef Belaili

Youcef Belaili (centre) scored his second international goal against Senegal, with his first coming earlier this month in a friendly against Mali

Algeria beat Senegal to clinch a place in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16.

The match was billed as a showdown between Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, of Manchester City, and Senegal’s Liverpool forward Sadio Mane – but both players had quiet games.

Youcef Belaili blasted home the only goal of the game from the edge of box from Sofiane Feghouli’s cross.

Senegal almost equalised with the final action of the game, with Mane heading over from close range.

Africa’s highest ranked team need to beat Kenya in their final group game to be guaranteed a place in the knockout stages.

Mane was unfortunate not to win a penalty when he was sandwiched by Adlene Guedioura and Ramy Bensebaini with 20 minutes to go. The video assistant referee system does not come in until the quarter-final stage.

The game did not live up to the hype, with Senegal not having a shot on target until the 78th minute when Youssouf Sabaly’s 20-yard shot was parried by Rais M’Bolhi and Mbaye Diagne put the rebound wide from close range.

There was no action of note in the first half at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, with former West Ham winger Feghouli curling wide moments before setting up the only goal.

Stoke City midfielder Badou Ndiaye blazed a shot over for Senegal just after the hour-mark and Mahrez, in a rare moment of magic, lashed an effort just wide from long range.

In Group C’s other game, Kenya came from behind to beat Tanzania 3-2.

Analysis

BBC Sport’s Nick Cavell at 30 June Stadium

As often happens when you get two teams who had been widely praised for their opening game – against somewhat poorer opposition – coming head-to-head they ended up cancelling each other out a bit.

Senegal had their moments – Mane caused problems with his speed, and probably should have had a penalty – but on the other hand they lacked any sort of cohesion. They had no ideas to change the way the game was played.

They looked like they missed Idrissa Gueye – the Everton man who started on the bench – in midfield to pull the strings and organise things.

Algeria looked a lot more solid, balanced and better in defence. Most of all, they used their physicality in a good way, to keep the Senegalese at bay. But they also managed to put together some skilful passes, and the goal proved that – a great cross and a great finish.

Algeria deserve to go through. Senegal need to come up with a Plan B.

Live Text

Match ends, Senegal 0, Algeria 1.

Second Half ends, Senegal 0, Algeria 1.

Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Senegal) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Henri Saivet with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Senegal. Conceded by Mohamed Fares.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria).

Substitution, Algeria. Mehdi Abeid replaces Ismael Bennacer.

Foul by Mbaye Diagne (Senegal).

Rais M’bolhi (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria).

Corner, Senegal. Conceded by Baghdad Bounedjah.

Sada Thioub (Senegal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Mohamed Fares (Algeria).

Badou Ndiaye (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andy Delort (Algeria).

Substitution, Senegal. Henri Saivet replaces Alfred N’Diaye.

Substitution, Algeria. Andy Delort replaces Youcef Belaïli.

Foul by Sada Thioub (Senegal).

Ismael Bennacer (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Badou Ndiaye (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria).

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Senegal).

Ismael Bennacer (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Mbaye Diagne (Senegal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by M’Baye Niang.

Foul by Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal).

Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. M’Baye Niang (Senegal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sadio Mané with a cross.

Substitution, Algeria. Mohamed Fares replaces Ramy Bensebaini.

Attempt missed. Mbaye Diagne (Senegal) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Attempt saved. Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Attempt blocked. Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, Senegal. Conceded by Aissa Mandi.

Foul by Alfred N’Diaye (Senegal).

Adlène Guédioura (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Badou Ndiaye (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria).

Substitution, Senegal. Mbaye Diagne replaces Krépin Diatta.

Corner, Senegal. Conceded by Adlène Guédioura.

Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 to reach last 16

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