For its first match in these qualifiers for the 2023 African Cup of Nations, scheduled in Côte d’Ivoire, Algeria hosted Uganda in order to best start this June rally. For this match, Djamel Belmadi decided to trust Touba in his 3-man defense, while Belaïli and Ghezzal accompany Slimani in attack. Milutin Sredojević was given a chance to change things around. From the beginning of the first period, the Fennecs, pushed by their supporters well present at the stadium on July 5, 1962 in Algiers, pushed to try to find the fault in the last third.
This domination was materialized by the head of Belaïli, who was close to the opposing frame (9th). Nonetheless, the Cranes held on well defensively before cracking on a free kick from Slimani in the goal area and followed by Mandi for the Greens’ 1-0 lead. If Algeria seemed to manage the pace of the match, Aucho caused Ghezzal’s foul on the surface, which meant a penalty for the visitors, but Miya stumbled on Zeghba (37th). With the return of the locker room, the Greens had to wait until the 80th minute to witness the goal of the break thanks to Belaïli, author of a beautiful number in front of the surface before deceiving Lukwego.
Senegal and Mali are walking around
In the other matches of the evening, Senegal only took a bite of the Benon thanks to a Sadio Mané on fire. With a triple in less than an hour, the Lions and Liverpool number 10 became the top scorer in selection history ahead of Henri Camara. The Squirrels reduced the lead at the end of the game thanks to Olaitan (88th). A victory that allows Aliou Cissé’s players to take first place in Group L, taking advantage of the draw between Rwanda and Mozambique.
Mali was also at home, this time against Congo-Brazzaville. Stade de Reims striker El-Bilal Touré had a double in the first half, aggravating the score with goals from M. Camara and K. Coulibaly. What to expect from Gambia, the winner of South Sudan earlier in the day. Finally, Mauritania prevailed largely against Sudan thanks to their striker A. Kamara, who scored a double before the end of the first half hour. The favorites didn’t make a big leap in this first day of qualifying …
The results of the 21-hour matches
Algeria 2-0 Uganda: Mandi (28th), Belaïli (80th)
Mali 4-0 Congo: Camara (1st), Touré (11th, 40th), Coulibaly (44th)
Mauritania 3-0: Kamara (27th, 30th), Mahmoud (77th)
Senegal 3-1 Benin: Mané (12th, 22nd, 60th) / Olaitan (88th)