Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Senegal 0-1 Algeria: Desert Warriors edge close to qualification with Belaili strike

Daniel Orme in Editorial, General Soccer News 27 Jun 2019

Embed from Getty Images

Algeria edged closer to qualifying for the knockout rounds of the African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win over tournament favourites Senegal on Thursday evening in Cairo.

It took until just after the break for the Fennec Foxes to take the lead through a powerful finish from Youcef Belaïli but that was all that required as Algeria firmed up their grip on top spot in Group C.

Creativity from Algeria

Senegal started the better of the two teams but it was Algeria who really had the first sight of goal as Belaïli forced the opposition goalkeeper into a solid stop from a free-kick. Djamel Belmadi’s men then went close from another set-piece as they took a free-kick quickly and almost caught out Edouard Mendy who was miles off of his line but defender Kalidou Kouliably bailed out his goalkeeper with the clearance.

They then had another opportunity as Riyad Mahrez’s freekick picked out the head of Baghdad Bounedjah but the striker could not get his effort on target. He then tested Mendy with a fierce drive but the stopper saved well as the whistle blew on a scrappy first period in Cairo.

Algeria take the lead minutes after the break

It was Algeria who resumed much the better and former West Ham United man Sofiane Feghouli curled a decent chance just wide of goal.

They were not made to wait much longer though and the winger played a huge part. Racing down the right-wing he teed up Belaili, who was charging into the area. The forward then took a touch before thundering the ball into the net.

Boundejah could have doubled the lead as he picked up the ball from Mahrez but he could only put his effort wide. The Manchester City man then had a try of his own as he evaded a couple of challenges but again his effort flew just off target.

Senegal frustration

Senegal really struggled to create any real chances of note throughout the second-half but they argued for a penalty as Liverpool man Sadio Mane appeared to be fouled in the penalty area but the referee was unmoved.

They then created arguably their best chance of the match. Youssouf Sabaly had a speculative effort that was well saved by Raïs M’Bolhi. The rebound fell to Mbaye Diagne but he put his header wide.

Despite their best efforts, Aliou Cissé’s men were not able to earn an equaliser and now their qualification for the next round of the competition is under threat depending on the result between Kenya and Tanzania.

Final Thoughts

The match was by no means a classic in the Egyptian capital. At points, it was an extremely scrappy affair broken up by numerous free kicks and fouls. The quality of the Algerian play paid off though with Belaili’s great finish a rare highlight. Algeria are now firmly in control of the group as a result of the victory.

Match Report

Senegal: Mendy (6); Sabaly (6), Koulibaly (7), Kouyate (6), Wague (5); A. N’Diaye (6) (Saivet N/A), 86′), Mane (6), P.  Ndiaye (5), Diatta (6) (Diagne (5), 73′), Balde (5) (Thioub (5), 63′); Niang (6).

Algeria: M’bolhi (6); Bensebaini (7) (Fares (N/A), 80′), Benlamri (6), Mandi (7), Atal (7); Guedioura (6); Mahrez (6), Feghouli (7), Bennacer (6) (Abeid (N/A), 90+2′), Belaili (8) (Delort (N/A), 86′); Bounedjah (6).

Goals: Belaili (49′)

Referee: Janny Sikazwe

Yellow Cards: Kouyate (15′), Benlamri (20′), Atal (24′), Balde (39′)

Red Cards: N/A


Daniel Orme

Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

More More