Tunisia upset Algeria with stunning stoppage time strike
Youssef M’sakni’s 90th minute goal helped Tunisia to beat favourites Algeria 1-0 in their African Cup of Nations Group D match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.
M’sakni’s powerful shot from 35 yards silenced the Algerian fans who had thought their team had salvaged a point.
Algeria have themselves to blame for the defeat as they wasted plenty of scoring chances, especially in the dying minutes of the game.
The match started at a slow pace with both teams easily losing possession. However, Algeria increased the tempo of the game through a series of attacks, forcing Tunisia to defend deep in their own half.
Algerian striker Kadir Foued almost grabbed the lead in the 22nd minute when his powerful shot from the edge of penalty box was saved by goalkeeper Ben Mustapha.
The second ranked side in Africa continued to pile pressure on Tunisia in a bid to get the opener and they were nearly rewarded in the 28th minute when striker Islam Sliman’s thunderous shot was parried over the bar by Mustapha.
Tunisia gained momentum after the half-hour mark, using the width of the pitch to launch their attack. Algerian keeper Doukha Izzeddine ensured that the score remained goalless at half-time when he saved
Khalifa Saber’s tame shot from the right flank.
The half-time peptalk from Tunisia coach Trabelsi Sami seemed to have motivated his charges as they came into the second half with guns blazing in search of the opener.
Algeria also displayed glimpses of individual brilliance but their finishing was not up to scratch with defender Mesbah Djamel Eddine the main culprit. Eddine fluffed the best chance in the 57th minute when his curling shot went across the goal mouth with only Mustapha to beat. Algerian fans were getting frustrated as captain Lacen Medhi also missed a great chance in the 70th minute from close range.
The Algerian defence was almost caught napping in the 75th minute as Harbaoui Hamdi’s goal bound shot forced Izzeddine to produce a dramatic save.
In the end, Tunisia grabbed the winner, leaving Algeria to rue their missed chances.