CAN 2021: Algeria injured and still caught up, Zimbabwe qualified

Already qualified, Algeria shared the points in Zambia (3-3) this Thursday in the CAN 2021 qualifiers due in particular to two very questionable penalties. This draw, however, eliminates the Chipolopolos and qualifies Zimbabwe.

Although it has been hot on the end, Algeria, already qualified, chained a 24 th consecutive game without defeat by sharing the points in Zambia (3-3) on Thursday on behalf of the 5 th playoff day CAN 2021. This draw, however, buries the hopes of the Chipolopolos and the great beneficiary of this result is Zimbabwe, officially qualified after its victory a little earlier against Botswana (1-0).

Even deprived of 5 usual holders (Mandi, Bensebaini, Bennacer, Feghouli and Mahrez) and aligned in an unusual 4-4-2 with in particular the tenure of Rachid Ghezzal, back after two years of absence, and the doublet Slimani-Bounedjah aligned at the tip, the Fennecs entered the game very well by imposing a high pressing which suffocated their opponent.

After two alerts on an unframed recovery from Belaïli at close range then a tackle from Sinkala who found the post and grazed the CSC, Djamel Belmadi’s men logically took the lead on a comeback led by Slimani who found Ghezzal at the far post (0-1, 19 th ). This goal awakened the Chipolopolos and M’Bolhi had to be used by making two taps in quick succession. But the Greens governed quickly and Ghezzal, author of an impressive foray into the shaft, referred to the elevator Slimani who only had to push the ball into the net (0-2, 25 th ).

Two gift penalties …

So we thought the KO, Zambia then came back into the game by taking advantage of a generous penalty awarded after a call just charge Benlamri on Daka and transformed by striker RB Salzburg (1-2, 34 th ) . After the release of the excellent Ghezzal injured just before half-time, defending champions let themselves surprise after the break and equalized Chama head (2-2, 52 th ). As against Zimbabwe in November (2-2), the Algerians had just scored two goals! Except this time the Fennecs and reacted Bounedjah on high recovery, offered a caviar for Slimani doubled (2-3, 55 th ).

While the pace dropped a bit following the changes made on both sides, Belaïli then missed the target on a big occasion. And the visitors were going to regret it… Because, once again, the referee whistled a very severe penalty for a very light stroller from Tahrat on Phiri who was dropping. Daka turned it to offer a double (3-3, 80 th ). Like a goal rightly denied to the attacker for offside then the post found by Abdellaoui which brushed against the CSC, the Zambians pushed hard at the end. In vain, since it is indeed Zimbabwe that will accompany Algeria to Cameroon next January.

The classification of group H: Algeria 10 points, Zimbabwe 8 pts, Botswana 4 pts, Zambia 4 pts

The summary of the match in video

The starting compositions:

Zambia:  Chibwe – Banda, Chama, Chongo – Lungu, Sakala, Sinkala, Mwepu, Mulenga – Chama, Daka.

Algeria:  Mbolhi – Benayada, Benlamri, Tahrat, Abdellaoui – Ghezzal, Guedioura, Abeid, Belaïli – Bounedjah, Slimani.