Angola Beat Burkina Faso to Top Afcon Group As Algeria Crash Out

DR Congo have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after winning 8-7 on penalties against Egypt.
23 January 2024

Angola are through to the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) as winners of their group after goals by Mabululu and Zini gave them a 2-0 victory over Burkina Faso on Tuesday.

Both sides already knew they were heading through to the last 16 from Group D before kick-off in Yamoussoukro, but each could have gone through in first, second or third place depending on the outcome of this game.

Angola went ahead in the 36th minute when Egypt-based striker Mabululu scored with a near-post header from Fredy Ribeiro's free-kick delivery for his second goal of the tournament so far.

Burkina Faso applied pressure in the second half as they went in search of a second goal, but Angola made sure of the victory in stoppage time at the end of the game.

A Jeremie Bela shot was not held by Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi, and AEK Athens striker Zini pounced to convert the loose ball.

Having already drawn with 2019 champions Algeria and beaten Mauritania at the tournament in Ivory Coast, Angola top the group and will play a best third-placed team in Bouake in the last 16 on Saturday.

Ranked 117th in the world, this is just the third time they have made it out of their group, with the last coming when they hosted the tournament in 2010.

Meanwhile, Algeria's shock 1-0 defeat by Mauritania allowed Burkina Faso to finish second and so they will head to the northern city of Korhogo for a tie next Tuesday against the winners of Group E.

That will be Mali, South Africa or Namibia.

Historic Mauritania victory condemns Algeria to shock AFCON exit

Former champions Algeria crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday after losing 1-0 to Mauritania, who are 75 places lower in the world rankings.

Captain Mohamed Delllah Yaly scored after 37 minutes in Bouake for the Group D outsiders, who will fill one of four places reserved for third-placed finishers in the mini-league stage.

Angola defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 in the same section and topped the final standings with seven points. Burkina Faso (four) and Mauritania (three) also advanced to the knockout stage.

Champions in 1990 and 2019, Algeria came to the Ivory Coast among the favourites to win the African football showpiece only to depart without winning a match.

After draws with Angola and Burkina Faso, they were stunned by Mauritania, who had never won a Cup of Nations match in eight previous attempts spanning three editions.

The winners were constantly on the back foot, especially in the closing stages, but showed defensive resilience to pull off a famous victory.

Former Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez arrived in west Africa as the standout Algerian, but poor performances in his first two matches saw him relegated to the bench for this match.

"It's a fact that these have not been his best matches with Algeria, but don't kill him too soon," pleaded coach Djamel Belmadi before facing Mauritania.

The absence of Mahrez did not affect the Desert Foxes unduly for much of first half as they camped in Mauritanian territory seeking to break the deadlock.

Vanguard News

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