Belmadi delighted as Algeria secure TotalEnergies 2023 AFCON ticket

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Algeria team picture during the 2023 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers match between Niger and Algeria held at Rades Stadium in Tunis

Algeria’s head coach Djamel Belmadi was a delighted man as Les Fennecs secured a ticket to the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations with a 1-0 victory over 8.

The win by the 2019 champions in Rades was their fourth in a row in Group F and sees them cement their hold on top spot with a maximum 12 points with two matches to spare. Niger meanwhile have their hopes diminished as they remain third with just two points off their opening two draws.

Their hopes are now pegged on the result between Tanzania and Uganda on Tuesday.

For Algeria, it was yet another important victory, that gives them a chances to battle for the title they lost in Cameroon last year.

“We obtained what we had come for, and that is victory in the match and qualification. It was a difficult match against a difficult opponent but we are delighted to achieve our objectives from the game. Now we will plan for the Cup of Nations and every FIFA window will be an opportunity for us to prepare,” said Belmadi after the match.

Algeria’s lone goal in the match was scored by forward Baghdad Bounedjah who stretched to tap the ball home from inside the box just six minutes in after being played through by Riyad Mahrez.

The Nigeriens fought hard to try and get back into the match and they came closest minutes to halftime when Mahamadou Amadou Sabo strode into the box, but his deflected shot was brilliantly saved by Moustapha Zeghba in the Algerian goal.

In the second half, Algeria just but managed to keep the result within good guard.

Guinea Bissau 0-1 Nigeria

Elsewhere in Bissau, Nigeria made amends for last weekend’s loss to Guinea Bissau, beating the Djurtus 1-0 at their backyard to restore their qualification ambitions and move back top of Group A with nine points, two ahead of their hosts.

Moses Simon scored the lone goal in the tie, converting from the penalty spot after half an hour. The Super Eagles won the penalty after Samuel Osayi was hacked down inside the box by Fayi Cande as she stormed in with a good run on the right.

Before the goal, Nigeria had asked some questions, with Victor Osimhen striking wide after breaking into the box, while Alex Iwobi saw his curling effort go wide after drifting to the edge of the area from the right.

Nigeria should have gone to the break at least two up, but Samuel Chukwueze wasted a glorious opportunity on the counter, choosing to strike at goal with Osimhen screaming for the ball at the edge of the six yard area.

The home side had a chance to draw level three minutes to the break when Angelo Gomes cut back a cross from the right, but Jorge Barbosa blasted it over the bar.

In the second half, the home side attempted to rally back into the duel, but they couldn’t make their chances count.

On the other end, it was Nigeria who were closest to a goal when Osimhen struck the upright after finding a pocket of space inside the box.

Angola 1-1 Ghana

In Luanda, Osman Bukari stepped off the bench to score the equalizer as Ghana remained top of Group E following a 1-1 draw with hosts Angola.

The Black Stars are on eight points, one ahead of second placed Central Africa Republic who beat Madagascar 2-0 earlier on, while Angola are third with five points.

Bukari scored in the 72nd minute, barely 30 seconds after coming on. The forward swept the ball home from inside the box from a brilliant Joseph Paintsil cross, the two substitutes combining to clinch a point for the Ghanaians.

The home side, who lost by a solitary goal in the first leg in Kumasi last week were keen for revenge, but they had to wait till the 49th minute to break the deadlock, Lucas Joao scoring from the penalty spot.

Angola were given a penalty after the electric Jacinto Dala was brought down inside the box by Daniel Amartey. It was a deserved goal for the Angolans, having been enterprising in attack from the start.

They had some chances in the first half, with Carneiro de Jesus and Dala coming close with rasping shots from range, Dala’s being well saved by the keeper while de Jesus’ effort went narrowly wide.


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