Algeria sink Niger to secure AFCON ticket

Algeria booked their ticket to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations finals with an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Niger at the Hammadi Agrebi Stadium in Tunis.

Baghdad Bounedjah broke the deadlock early on to register his 23rd goal for the Desert Warriors, who survived a late scare to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group F.

Niger remain third in the group after collecting just two points from their opening four matches, leaving their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

The North Africans got off to a flying start on this occasion as they hit the front after just six minutes, with Bounedjah beating Mahamdou Tanja from inside the box after being played in by Riyad Mahrez.

Algeria threatened again on the quarter-hour mark when Chaibi headed Van Den Kerkhof’s cross wide of the left post but they looked shaky at the back and Hadjam in particular struggled to make any sort of impact on his debut at left-back.

Zeghba then pulled off a fine save on 42 minutes to keep out Sabo’s deflected shot from the right side of the box as the Desert Warriors held onto their slender lead at the break.

The two-time Africans champions had the ball in the back of the net again on 54 minutes when Chaïbi converted Van Den Kerkhof’s low cross at the back post but the goal was ruled out for offside, although replays indicated that the assistant referee had made the wrong call.

The hosts had a rare sniff at goal in the 76th minute after a free-kick in a promising position, only for Rahim Alhassane to sky the effort.

Niger nearly snatched a dramatic late equaliser deep into stoppage time when Victorien Adebayor curled a free-kick inches wide of the left post from a free-kick, with Zeghba breathing a sigh of relief.



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