By Apollos Burabari
On Thursday January 19, 2022, Cote te de’ivoire, defeated Algeria, African defending Champions , in the the 2019, African Cup of Nations, held in Egypt. It was beaten 3-1 at the Stade Omnisport de Douala, one of the Commercial towns of the the Central African country of Cameroon, the host country, in their last 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, Group E match.
The Elephants of Cote de’Ivoire, had advanced to the knockout stage as Group E winners, and will face pharaohs of Egypt on January 26, while reigning champions Algeria would go back home. The game got off to a frantic start, with the two African footballing powers assaulting each other without fear, taking risks in the final third.
When Ismael Bennacer’s effort hit the post with goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare well beaten at his near post 21 minutes into the game, the Desert Foxes of Algeria were unlucky not to take the lead.
In the 22nd minute, the Elephants broke the deadlock at the other end when Nicolas Pepe set up Franck Kessie, who beat Rais M’Bolhi to give Ivory Coast a 1-0 lead.
The two-time African champions then went on the hunt for their second goal of the game, which they eventually scored in the 39th minute. Ibrahim Sangara headed home Serge Aurier’s free-kick to make it 2-0 to Ivory Coast at the halfway break.
After the restart, Ivory Cote te deIvore, kept their foot on the gas and increased their lead. After being set up by Sebastien Haller six minutes before the hour mark, Pepe beat M’Bolhi with a curling effort to make it 3-0 to Ivory Coast.
The goal jolted the Desert Foxes into action, and they applied some pressure to the Elephants, earning a penalty after Youcef Belaili was fouled. Riyad Mahrez, on the other hand, hit the woodwork with his spot-kick.
Algeria equalized in the 73rd minute, thanks to a well-taken corner kick by the North African giants. Sofiane Bendebka put the game out of reach with a straightforward header into an empty net, assisted by Aissa Mandi.
The goal, however, proved to be a small consolation for Algeria, as Ivory Coast held solid at the back in the closing minutes to win the game 3-1.