Senegal into last eight, Algeria facing early exit

LIBREVILLE • Senegal reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals for the first time in more than a decade, after a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe on Thursday ensured the continent's highest-ranked team would finish top of Group B.

Senegal had been among the favourites in their last three appearances at the tournament, but flopped each time.

They last got past the first round in 2006, when they finished fourth.

"The goal today was to advance, now it's done," said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse after early goals from Sadio Mane and Henri Saivet settled the match.

"Today, we played well and won, and we qualified. I'm very proud of the guys, we have to keep going like that."

Algeria, who were also fancied pre-tournament, are on the verge of an early exit instead, after they were beaten 2-1 by Tunisia in Group B's other game.

Algeria need to beat Senegal on Monday and hope that Tunisia, who meet Zimbabwe, do not secure the point they need to go through as group runners-up.

Horror defending cost Algeria against Tunisia as captain Aissa Mandi scored at the wrong end, and Faouzi Ghoulam conceded a penalty. Mandi sliced into his own net before Ghoulam tugged back Wahbi Khazri in the box and Naim Sliti converted from the spot.

"We started very well. But we know that in a game of this level, you should not give away gifts," said Algeria coach George Leekens.

Sofiane Hanni pulled one back in stoppage time, but Algeria's fate had already been sealed.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'Senegal into last eight, Algeria facing early exit'. Print Edition | Subscribe