MONGOMO: ALGERIAN have moved top of Group C after a convincing victory over South Africa. The North Africans recorded a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over a determined Bafana Bafana in the respective sides’ Group C opener played at the Estadio de Mongomo on Monday evening.
A missed penalty, an own goal and a goalkeeping howler condemned the Southern African side to defeat. A lukewarm first half came to life after captain in the 23rd minute when Furman hit the cross bar with a thunderous effort from range with goalkeeper well beaten.
The usually-reliable Vilakazi dilly-dallied on the ball until the chance was lost. Moments later Andile Jali spurned an opportunity to carve an opener.
With South Africa starting the second half as strongly as the way they ended the first half, they were always going to be favourites to open the scoring. It came as no surprise therefore when Thuso Phala finished a wonderfully worked effort from close range. 1 -0.
Algeria’s woes worsened two minutes later as they conceded a penalty after a clumsy challenge in the box but Tokelo Rantie blasted his spotkick against the crossbar. At the other end, South African end a double save by Darren Keet denied the Desert Foxes with a double save.
Rantie’s penalty miss returned to haunt the 1996 champions as his teammate Thulani Hlatshwayo beat his own goalkeeper to bring the Dester Foxes back into the game in the 67th minute. 1-1.
Still struggling to come to terms with the blunder, Faouzi Ghoulam further punished South Africans with a rasping shot from inside the box to. 2-1.
Islam Slimani drove the final nail into the coffin with a low shot that seemed easier to handle for Keet than to spill only for him to opt for the latter as the ball trickled into the net. 3-1.
Earlier, Senegal scored a last gasp winner to register a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Ghana. Algeria top Group C courtesy of a superior goal difference over Senegal. South Africa are bottom. Action shifts to Group D on Tuesday with Ivory Coast playing Guinea and Mali clashing with Cameroon.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY