Algeria book Olympic spot after beating South Africa

by BackPageTXT

Wed December 09, 22:48

Algeria Under-23 brushed aside South Africa Under-23 2-0 to qualify for the 2015 Under-23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final and Rio 2016 Olympics at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar on Wednesday night.

South Africa began the match well creating goal scoring opportunities. However, they could not convert them, while Algeria took their chances and emerged victories on the night.

The match got off to a lively start as South Africa captain and midfielder Keagan Dolly's effort was blocked inside the Algerian box five minutes into the game.

Oussama Darfalou did not make any mistake when he got a chance to score for Algeria four minutes later as he chipped the ball over SA goalkeeper Jody February to hand his side the lead.

In the 17th minute, Abederrahmane Meziane Ben Taharm combined with Mohammed Benkhemassa, and the latter was denied by SA goal-minder February.

Gift Motupa should have restored parity a minute later after receiving a cross from Abbubaker Mobara, but the former placed his effort over the Algerian goal-posts.

On the half-hour mark, SA captain Dolly drifted past a few Algerian defenders and unleashed a shot which was deflected out for a corner-kick.

Algeria shot-stopper Abdelkadir Salhi did well to stop an attempt from South Africa winger Riyaad Norodien three minutes before the interval.

The North Africans doubled their lead five minutes into second-half through Benkhemassa, who reacted quickly to a loose ball following a corner-kick and made it 2-0 to Algeria.

Menzi Masuku cut inside from the right in the 64th minute and sent a low cross towards the far post. But his South Africa teammate Deolin Mekoa could not make contact with ball.

SA coach Owen Da Gama coach's substitutes Dumisani Zuma and Phakamani Mahlambi tried to inspire their nation to a come back, but the Algerians stood firm at the back.

Ultimately, the match ended 2-0 in favour of Algeria. The North African nation qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics and 2015 U23 AFCON final.

They will take on Nigeria in the final, while SA clash with Senegal in the Third-place play-off both on Saturday. The winner will qualify for the Olympics.

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