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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale
Paul Myers

Angola and Guinea reel in Algeria and Cameroon at Africa Cup of Nations

Angola striker mabululu (left) scored his side's equaliser against Algeria in their Group D clash in bouaké at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. AP - Themba Hadebe

Algeria fluffed their opening lines at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Monday night with an inconsistent performance to draw 1-1 with Angola.

Djamel Belmadi's players appeared initially to have exorcised the ghosts of the 2021 tournament in Cameroon where they went in as defending champions only to be hustled out of the competition after the group stages.

They dominated the early stages of the Group D encounter at the Stade Bouaké with no little verve and vigour.

But for all the intricacy and build-up play, their goal atfer 18 minutes was somewhat old school.

Advancing into midfield, Youcef Belaili looked up and launched the ball forward, Angola defender Kialonda Gaspar was unable to hook it clear and Baghdad Bounedjah slashed home with the outside of his right foot. So direct. So liberating. Yes and no.

Fluency abounding, a second goal seemed imminent. But it failed to appear. And as Algeria exhibited increasing cluelessness, midfielder Nabil Bentaleb botched his challenge in the penalty area on Mabululu.


The 31-year-old Angola striker picked himself off the turf from the crude hack and thrashed his penalty into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Despite a late injection of coherence and urgency, Algeria could not fashion a winner against a side who appeared more than content with the stalemate.

Algeria's difficulties followed a surprise 1-1 draw between Guinea and Cameroon.

The Guineans took the lead in the 10th minute at the Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro but on the stroke of half-time, skipper Francois Kamano was sent off for an ungainly tackle on Cameroon striker Frank Magri.

He brought the sides level six minutes after the restart but despite the man advantage, Cameroon were unable to add to their tally.

The stalemate left Senegal in the early ascendance in Group C following their 3-0 waltz past 10-man Gambia.

Pape Gueye opened the defending champions' 2023 account with a classy finish in the fourth minute.

Gambia lost Ebou Adams just before half-time for petulantly jabbing his studs into Lamine Camara's calf.

The 20-year-old responded with a brace to cap his first game for the senior team at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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