AFCON: Underdog Sierra Leone owns defending champions Algeria Football News

Algeria started their African Cup of Nations title defense with a 0-0 win over Sierra Leone in Douala.

Algeria begins to defend their African Cup of Nations The North African side struggled to beat one of their foreign players in a 0-0 draw with Sierra Leone in Douala on Tuesday.

Qatar winger Yassin Brahimi missed the goalkeeper’s best chance early in the second half when he found himself with only the keeper to beat, with only Mohamed Kamara saving a shot on the second attempt.

The draw allows Algeria to extend their unbeaten run in the competition to 35 games, but it also means their Group E arch-rivals Ivory Coast can take the lead by beating Equatorial Guinea in the same spot on Wednesday.

The heat and humidity of the afternoon kick-off at the Jaboma Stadium in Cameroon’s economic capital certainly didn’t help, but Sierra Leone’s performance in its first Nations Cup final in 25 years deserves credit.

They are ranked 108th in the world, with former England international Steven Caulker at centre-back and Chinese player Mohamed Buya Turay active on the left flank.

They are expected to progress to the round of 16 on the basis of this result, with the best third-placed team advancing from the group stage, which is now a 24-team competition.

John Kester’s team received enthusiastic support in the stadium, although overall attendance at the 50,000-seat venue may have barely reached four figures.

Alhaji Kamara, who plays for Danish side Landers, was close to Sierra Leone’s early snap, while Turay also tested Rais M’Bolhi in the first half .

An effort by Kamara was ruled offside after the break, and Brahimi had a Phnom Penh error at the other end.

West Ham’s Syed Benrahma shot wide shortly after coming off the bench as Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez lacked inspiration, while Rami Bensebaini was also denied by Kamara .

algeria, who beat Senegal In the 2019 final, they will face Equatorial Guinea in their next match on Sunday.