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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria and Ghana Crash Out, Mauritania Make History

<p>Tuesday’s shocking loss to Mauritania saw former champions Algeria crashing out of the Africa Cup of Nations group stage, while Cameroon’s thrilling win against Gambia guaranteed them a spot in the last 16.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-370695″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-africa-cup-of-nations-algeria-and-ghana-crash-out-mauritania-make-history-mauritan.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com africa cup of nations algeria and ghana crash out mauritania make history mauritan” width=”1007″ height=”671″ title=”Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria and Ghana Crash Out, Mauritania Make History 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-africa-cup-of-nations-algeria-and-ghana-crash-out-mauritania-make-history-mauritan.jpg 510w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/theindiaprint.com-africa-cup-of-nations-algeria-and-ghana-crash-out-mauritania-make-history-mauritan-150×100.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1007px) 100vw, 1007px” /></p>
<p>Algeria were victorious in the 2019 AFCON in Egypt, however they were eliminated in the group stage of the previous tournament in Cameroon, when they managed only one goal and one point.</p>
<p>Djamel Belmadi’s squad has had a similarly dismal season. They drew their first two Group D games against Angola and Burkina Faso, but a point against Mauritania in Bouake would have sent them to the knockout round.</p>
<p>However, Mauritania, who had lost their first two games in Ivory Coast and had never triumphed in eight previous AFCONs, won 1-0 courtesy to a goal from captain Mohamed Dellah Yaly, who plays club football in Iraq, in the 37th minute.</p>
<p>With an off-form Riyad Mahrez starting the match on the bench, the outcome sent Algeria to the bottom of their group. They will now return home having lost their last six Cup of Nations games since defeating Senegal 1-0 in the 2019 championship.</p>
<p><strong>Mauritania creates historical</strong></p>
<p>As one of the top four third-place teams, Mauritania, on the other hand, is now certain to make it to the knockout round for the first time in their history.</p>
<p>Coach Amir Abdou of Mauritania said broadcaster Canal Plus Afrique, “Nobody was thinking about Mauritania, but football is like that, full of surprises, and we have been rewarded for all the hard work we have put in.”</p>
<p>Mabululu, an Egyptian striker, and Zini, an AEK Athens player, gave Angola a 2-0 victory against the Stallions at Yamoussoukro, putting them ahead of Burkina Faso in Group D.</p>
<p>For the first time since hosting the competition in 2010, the Angolans have advanced to the knockout round. They will now face the top third-place team in Bouake in the round of 16.</p>
<p>Burkina Faso, who finished second in 2013 and advanced to the semifinals the previous two years, will travel to the northern city of Korhogo on Tuesday to play the winners of Group E, which will be either Mali, South Africa, or Namibia.</p>
<p>In a remarkable encounter in Bouake earlier on Tuesday, five-time champions Cameroon defeated Gambia 3-2 to seal their spot in the next round.</p>
<p>To have a chance of qualifying from Group C, both teams had to win. Early in the second half, a header by Karl Toko-Ekambi gave Cameroon the lead.</p>
<p>However, the unmarked Ablie Jallow scored past Fabrice Ondoa, who was picked in goal over Manchester United’s Andre Onana, in the 72nd minute to tie the score for Gambia, who were quarterfinalists two years before.</p>
<p>Five minutes remaining, Ebrima Colley gave Gambia the lead, indicating that the Indomitable Lions were about to lose.</p>
<p>But two minutes later, James Gomez headed Cameroon’s goal into stoppage time when he turned a cross into his own net. The score was now 2-2.</p>
<p>When asked whether his squad never knows when they are defeated, Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said, “It is in our DNA, it’s just what we are like.”</p>
<p>Now that they have lost their past three matches, Gambia will go to Abidjan on Saturday to play Nigeria in the heavyweight round of the playoffs.</p>
<p><strong>Perfect Ghana out, Senegal</strong></p>
<p>Even though he was under contract until 2026, Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet announced his resignation after the game.</p>
<p>Champions Senegal, meanwhile, defeated Guinea 2-0 in Yamoussoukro to win Group C with a perfect record. Goals from Abdoulaye Seck and Iliman Ndiaye came in the second half.</p>
<p>They will remain in Yamoussoukro for a last-16 match against one of the top third-placed teams on Monday. It’s likely that they will face the hosts, Ivory Coast, who finished third in Group A but are still in the running to advance.</p>
<p>Guinea, who saw their star scorer Serhou Guirassy return from injury, was knocked down to third place by Cameroon’s comeback, but they will advance to the next round.</p>
<p>But such outcomes consigned Ghana, the four-time winners, to elimination.</p>
<p>On Wednesday, the group stage comes to an end. Tanzania will face the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia will play Morocco, and South Africa will play Tunisia. Namibia will play Mali, and Namibia will play Tanzania.</p>

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