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CHAN 2022: Mozambique lose to Algeria but still qualify for knockouts

Algeria sealed a 100% win record in their group matches of the 2022 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) on Saturday evening after edging Mozambique 1-0 in the closing round of Group A fixtures at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.

An early strike by Hocine Dehiri in the 3rd minute was enough to see the hosts Algeria amassing maximum points to finish top of the group and subsequently seal a place in the quarter-finals of the competition where they will face the runners-up of Group B.

Fortunately for Mozambique, the loss did not end their competition run as Libya overcame Ethiopia 3-1 in a match played concurrently in Annaba – a result that worked in their favour as they finished second in the group with four points to set up a quarter-final clash against the winners of group C.

With the backing of a packed and vocal Nelson Mandela Stadium, the hosts immediately registered their names on the scoreboard after Hocine Dehiri towered over the Mozambican defence to connect with a well-taken corner to put the hosts in the driving seat.

The early goal seemed to have destabilised The Mambas who retreated into defence mode but eventually got into the match with their first attempt at goal coming in the 21st minute when Feliciano Jone’s header from the far post went into the side netting.

Minutes later, it was Algeria with an opportunity to extend the lead after Saadi Radouani did well to find Karim Aribi with a cutback but the striker miscued his shot with the pressure from the defence in what could have been an extension of the lead.

The pressure continued to mount for Mozambique, who had to resort to counter-attacks which almost worked in their favour in the dying moments of the first half when a well-threaded cross from Francisco Muchanga fell into the path of captain Stelio Ernesto, who unfortunately lost his footing at a key moment for the ball to be cleared.

Mozambique were almost caught cold in the opening minutes of the second stanza after Radouani peeled wide off the defence to create ample space for himself for a delightful cross to Aribi who couldn’t connect well with the ball as his tame effort was easily gathered by Ivane Urrubal.

Radouani continued to be a threat to the Mozambicans with his maze runs down the right flank with crosses that troubled the Mozambican defence.

The Mambas continued the search for the equaliser but found it difficult to break the stubborn Algerian defence that thwarted most of their attacks in the middle of the park.

The conclusion of the group matches sees both Algeria and Mozambique through to the quarter-finals with Algeria’s Group B opponents to be decided on Sunday while Mozambique await the final results of Group C to be played on Monday to confirm their quarter-finals opponents.



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