May 20, 2024

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Afcon: Algeria Face Early Exit After Losing To Equatorial Guinea

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez (C) speaks to teammates before taking a free kick during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Algeria and Equatorial Guinea at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 16, 2022. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

African Champions Algeria are on the brink of an early AFCON exit after losing 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea is one of the biggest shocks of the tournament. Esteban Obiang who was playing in Spain’s fifth tier last year was the unsung hero for the Guineans as he arrived at the back post to connect with a corner in the 70th minute for the winner, ending a four-year unbeaten run for the African champion and leaving its title defense in Cameroon in pieces.

The Desert Warriors now sit bottom of Group E with one point from their first two games, 3 points behind group leaders Ivory Coast. Equatorial Guinea are second with 3 points, Sierra Leone are third with 2 points.According to Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, his side was unlucky in the encounter despite creating several scoring chances.

‘It’s not the expected result and yet we did everything, we got several chances but the ball did not go in.’We are in a situation of failure; it is a lean moment. Football is not always about rational reasons but let’s be sure, we will fight to stay in this competition. It will be against a great team from Côte d’Ivoire which is made up of players playing in the biggest leagues.

‘Regarding the opponent, Equatorial Guinea, they defended with a lot of desire, determination and we couldn’t find the fault, it’s a situation of failure. Algeria must now beat Ivory Coast in their final group game on Thursday, January 20, to stand a chance of progressing to the round of 16 after such a disappointing display at the AFCON so far.

Earlier the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has banned Black Stars forward Benjamin Tetteh for three matches following his role in the melee that ensued after the Ghana versus Gabon game. Ghana forward attacked a Gabonese player right at the end of the match, starting the scuffles that marred an intense encounter.