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Algeria will be making their 15th Africa Nations Cup finals appearance in January in South Africa.
The 1990 champions had one of the smoothest qualifying runs of any team on the road to South Africa to make up for their failure to qualify for the previous event that was jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea last January and February.
Algeria enjoyed a one hundred percent record, qualifying under the helm of their highly-respected and much-travelled Franco-Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodic.
Halilhodic has drawn and lost just once in his 10 games in charge since his appointment in June 2011.
Meanwhile, on their way to Johannesburg, Algeria dismantled Gambia 4-1 at home and 2-1 away in the first round.
They took their good away form to Libya beating their hosts 1-0 at their adopted home in Casablanca, Morocco.
Algeria later ensured their place in South Africa on October 14 with a 2-0 home win in Blida.
24-year old striker Islam Slimani of Algiers giants CR Belouizdad, inspired Algeria with three goals in four matches en route to South Africa.
Surprisingly, Slimani remains slightly under the radar and his exploits this year have gone unrecognized by CAF, even for the 2012 African-based Player of the Year award.
Algeria entered the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as the continents second-highest ranked side, but were the first team eliminated after defeats to Tunisia and Togo.
The Desert Foxes started Group D with a North African derby against Tunisia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. The match appeared to be headed for a goalless stalemate until the Carthage Eagles Youssef Msakni struck a stunner in injury time, a blow from which Algeria never recovered.
After their defeat at the hands of Tunisia, Vahid Halihodzics side could not afford another defeat when they faced up to Togo in their second match. Unfortunately they were outgunned by the West Africans,going down 2-0 to goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Dove Wome.
The two successive defeats served to make Algeria the first team eliminated from the competition, with their final match against Cote dIvoire little more than a match in which they played for pride.
As it turned out, the Desert Foxes were able to salvage a little self-respect after holding the Elephants to a 2-2 draw, with Sofiane Feghouli and El Arbi Soudani finding the back of the net. However, they did relinquish a two-goal advantage in the match.
Overall, it was a bitterly disappointing tournament for Algeria, who will have to regroup and regain their confidence as a team if they are to make a success of their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
|1996 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS TEAM RECORD|
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