AFCON minnows Mauritania send Algeria home early

January 24 – In a tournament that has produced shock after shock, Mauritania served up another when they dumped 2019 winners Algeria out of the African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 victory to seal a first ever win at the finals and a historic place in the last-16.

Centre-back Yali Dellahi swept home the winning goal late in the first half to stun the two-time AFCON winners.

Algeria exit the tournament at the group stage for the second successive time, finishing bottom of Group D while Mauritania will definitely progress as one of the best third-placed teams.

Algeria had the best record of any team in qualifying but several of their players left the field in tears. They join fellow former champions Ghana in being eliminated while Mauritania join the likes of Burkina Faso and Angola in the knockout phase.

Mauritania’s victory marked another major triumph for coach Amir Amdou, who was in charge of Comoros when the islanders reached the last 16 on their debut at the 2021 finals before losing to hosts Cameroon.

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