Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign ended without a win after a 2-2 draw with Senegal capped off a disappointing run of games in Group B. The Desert Foxes needed to win to stand any chance of making it through to the quarter-finals, but two goals from Islam Slimani were not enough to secure the three points.
The North Africans started brightly, and took the lead after just eleven minutes as Sofiane Hanni’s cross was smashed home by Slimani. They could have doubled their lead shortly afterwards but Aissa Mandi couldn’t quite connect with Slimani’s flick on from a corner kick.
However Senegal, who had made ten changes to their team as they were already group winners, wanted to remain competitive and they equalised just before half-time. Papakouly Diop’s half-volley from outside the box could not be saved by Malik Asselah, who was in goal once again following the injury to Rais M’Bolhi.
After Georges Leekens’ side had learned at the interval that Tunisia had already scored four goals against Zimbabwe, Algeria’s second half performance was filled with frustration and aggression. Both Slimani and defender Liassine Cadamuro, who came in for the injured Rami Bensebaini, could have seen red for unnecessary elbows towards their opposition.
Slimani restored Algeria’s lead after 52 minutes with a sliced strike after his Leicester City teammate Riyad Mahrez pulled the ball back to him but it took just sixty seconds for Senegal to come back on level terms with Moussa Sow’s drilled shot into the far corner.
Algeria should have perhaps won the game late on as Slimani was played through on goal but he dragged his effort just wide of the left-hand post and summed up a dismal tournament run.