Algeria Held to One by Togo

Sofiane Hanni scored the only goal of the match against Togo, to ensure three points for Algeria in their first match in group D of the African Cup of Nations qualifications.

Lucas Alcaraz opted to make no changes to his side which defeated Guinea 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Algeria started the game lively as Hanni came very close to scoring the opener just four minutes into the game, after a clever through ball from Islam Slimani.

Three minutes later, Algerian youngster Youcef Attal threaded the ball for Slimani, the forward was then unable to slot it into the goal.

The Desert Foxes were lucky to not concede in the 16th minute, after a mistake from the skipper, Rais M’Bolhi leaving his goal open, Ramy Bensebaini did very well to clear it off his line.

Two minutes later saw the Togo keeper Sabirou Bassa Djeri produce a brilliant save denying Slimani’s powerful header from a Mahrez cross.

23 minutes into the game saw the home side take the lead Hanni latched onto a headed lay off by Slimani and lobbed it over the Togolese keeper.

Attal went on a brillian run in the 38th minute and was very unfortunate not to score from it.

Algeria could have extended their lead two minutes before half-time, after Slimani’s powerful low shot was saved by Djeri, the striker then flicked on the rebound to Hanni who laid it off for Mahrez, who shot it straight at the Togolese keeper.

The intensity dropped in the second-half when, Attal was replaced by Sofiane Feghouli.

Best chance of the game came for Togo in the 54th minute when Emmanuel Adebayor took a perfect touch in the box and shot on the volley, but the shot ended up going inches over M’Bolhi’s goal.

Second-Half substitute El Arbi Hilel Soudani had a chance in the last ten minutes of the game, but his effort was easily caught by the Togolese keeper.

Alcaraz gave his thoughts on the full 90 minutes, “First half we played better, we had many chances and we deserved to win” He said.

When asked about his team selection he responded, “I said the first day, I play the players I think are best”

Algeria earned the three points in their first African Cup of Nations qualification match, which takes them top of group D.



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