January 20, (THEWILL) – With a 3-1 victory at Japoma Stadium on Thursday, Ivory Coast advanced to the last 16 of the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, knocking out disappointing defending champions Algeria.
The Desert Foxes of Algeria needed a win to stay in the competition, but Djamel Belmadi’s charges finished rock bottom in Group E and have therefore been eliminated.
Ivory Coast took advantage of Les Fennecs’ flaws to win their group and set up a confrontation with Egypt. Franck Kessie put them on their way with a left-footed volley midway through the first half to finish off a beautiful move after Nicolas Pepe squared the ball into his path.
Pepe was allowed to go forward unchecked before picking his place to add a third goal early in the second half after Ibrahim Sangare took advantage of poor defending to double their lead with a free header six minutes before half-time.
At the hour mark, Simon Deli was deemed to have fouled Youcef Belaili only for Riyad Mahrez to rattle the right post with his penalty kick rather than score, before Sofiane Bendebka netted Algeria’s first goal of the tournament 17 minutes from time with a header.
Right at the end, Sebastien Haller had what he thought was the Elephants’ fourth goal ruled out for offside, but, at the final whistle, the Ivorians had got sweet revenge for losing to Algeria in the AFCON 2019 quarter-finals.