Algeria, Angola settle for draw in Group D clash

Algeria endured more Africa Cup of Nations frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Angola in their opening match in Bouake.

Baghdad Bounedjah gave the Algerians the lead, but a second-half equaliser from Mabululu, who converted the rebound after his penalty hit the bar, salvaged a point for Angola in the Group D clash.

The Algerians are looking to avoid a similar fate to 2022 when they entered as defending champions but crashed out in the group stages after failing to win a game.

They made a positive start when Bounedjah latched on to a ball over the top and fired home with a clinical finish to put his side in front after just 18 minutes.

And it could have been even better for the favourites when Bounedjah found the net with a spectacular overhead kick shortly afterwards, only for the goal to be disallowed for offside after a VAR review.

Algeria became increasingly frustrated as they failed to create further chances to trouble the Angolans, who went into the match on the back of four consecutive goalless draws.

Angola drew level in the 65th minute when Mabululu was brought down by Nabil Bentaleb in the box before stepping up to bundle the ball home after his initial spot-kick hit the underside of the bar.

It took a late spell of pressure for the Algerians to really test the Angola rearguard, with Riyad Mahrez in particular proving a constant threat at set-plays.

But, after surviving a succession of corners in injury-time, the 117th-ranked Angolans clung on for a point to continue Algeria’s recent struggles in the competition.

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