Islam Slimani of Algeria celebrates goal with teammate Andy Delort during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Tanzania and Algeria at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 01 July 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Monday Jul 01, 2019. 23:00
Algeria have topped Group C at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with a full haul of nine points following a comfortable 3-0 win over Tanzania at the Al Salam Stadium on Monday night.
The Fennec Foxes will advance to play a third-placed team from Group A or B in their last 16 clash at the 30 June Stadium on Sunday 7 July. As for the Taifa Stars, their first AFCON appearance since 1980 has ended with three defeats from as many matches.
Algeria, who made nine changes compared to their last outing, had an early chance to claim the lead with just three minutes on the clock, but a sweeping counter attack ended with youngster Hicham Boudaoui putting a low shot just wide of goalkeeper Metacha Mnata’s right-hand post.
Mnata was on hand to make an excellent save from Ismael Bennacer in the 16th minute, reacting sharply to a volley from the Algerian attacker as his team began to build pressure through their relentless dominance.
The Fennec Foxes finally broke through in the 35th minute, with Adam Ounas playing a great pass to find Islam Slimani in between the Taifa Stars’ centre-backs – the striker duly provided a cool finish to put the North African side 1-0 up.
Ounas and Slimani combined again for a goal four minutes later, but his time it was Slimani with the assist as he played the young midfielder in with a first-time pass. Ounas finished past Mnata to make it 2-0.
The 22-year-old completed a brace in injury time at the end of the first half, running onto a great through ball (again from Slimani) before rounding the ‘keeper and sliding a low shot into the unguarded net for a 3-0 lead at the break.
Algeria continued to create scoring chances in the second half, but their finishing skills abandoned them. Nonetheless, Djamel Belmadi’s team had done all the hard yards to earn the three points and will head into the knockout rounds as one of the teams to watch.
Tanzania did have a couple of great chances to score a consolation goal late on, though substitutes John Bocco and Abdillahie Yussuf were both guilty of failing to hit the target, summing up the East African side’s fortunes in Egypt.
Algeria (3) 3 (Slimani 35’, Ounas 39’ 45+1’)
Tanzania: Mnata, Nyoni, Morris (Mkami 52’), Husseini, Mtoni, Ramadhani, Salum (Bocco 85’), Yahya Abbas, Samatta, Msuva, Mussa (Yussuf 46’)
Algeria: Mbolhi, Zeffane, Fares, Tahrat, Halliche, Abeid (Bounedjah 79’), Boudaoui, Bennacer (Guedioura 57’), Delort, Ounas (Mahrez 74’), Slimani