Baghdad Bounedjah of Algeria
Saturday Oct 13, 2018. 00:02
Algeria moved three points clear in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying Group D following a 2-0 win over Benin at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida on Friday evening.
The Fennec Foxes are three points ahead of the Squirrels who they face in the reverse fixture in Cotonou on Tuesday. Gambia and Togo complete the group with the duo locked on two points apiece following their 1-1 draw in Lome.
Ramy Bensebaini and Baghdad Bounedjah found he back of the net for Algeria on a night largely dominated by the North African's.
Bensebaini opened the scoring for the hosts in the 21st minute of the game. Riyad Mahrez's corner-kick was expertly flicked on by Bounedjah, and Bensebaini made no mistake to send the home fans into delirium.
Huddersfield Town's Steve Mounie finally forced Rais M'Bolhi into a save in the 54th minute, with the Foxes shot-stopper on hand to keep out the towering Benin forward's header.
The hosts regained their ascendancy soon after and were only denied a second on the hour mark by some brilliant last-ditch defending with both Bounedjah and Mahrez stifled in quick succession.
Algeria duly doubled their lead in the 74th minute through Bounedjah who finished off a through ball by Sofiane Feghouli.
Recently recalled Ishak Belfodil should've made it three in the dying exchanges, but the forward failed to convert with the goal at his mercy.
It mattered little, though, in the end as Algeria returned to winning ways while also keeping their first clean sheet of the year.