Football

Defending champions Algeria eliminated after crushing defeat to Ivory Coast

Sinan Rajab SENOGA

Ivory Coast 3-1 Algeria
Equatorial Guinea 1-0 Sierra Leone

Defending champions Algeria have been eliminated from the AFCON after losing their final group game 3-1 to Ivory Coast in Douala.

Midfielders Franck Kessie and Ibrahim Sangare scored for Ivory Coast in the first half before Nicholas Pepe added on the third in the 54th minute.

Algeria were handed an opportunity to reduce the deficit through a penalty kick but Riyad Mahrez failed to convert as his strike hit the lower post in the 60th minute.

Sofiane Bendebka who replaced Ismael Bennacer, scored a consolation for Algeria in the 73rd minute following a corner kick.

Ivory Coast scored the fourth goal through striker Sebastien Haller in the 90th minute but it was cancelled for offside.

The Ivorians will now face record champions Egypt in the round of 16.

The other game played in Limbe saw Equatorial Guinea seal their place in the last 16s with a 1-0 win over Sierra Leone.

Pablo Ganet scored the all important goal of the game 38th minute with a thunderbolt strike.

Sierra Leone had a chance to equalize in the 85th minute through a penalty kick but Kei Kamara had his penalty saved.

Moments later, Equatorial Guinea were reduced to 10 men after midfielder Kwame Quee was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 90th minute.

While Ivory Coast topped the Group E table with seven points, Equatorial Guinea finished second with six points.

Sierra Leone finished third with two points while Algeria came last with only a point.

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