AFCON 2023: Algeria and Mauritania clash in group stage showdown for knockout spot


In a high-stakes showdown at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria and Mauritania will clash in a must-win game for both sides as they vie for a spot in the Round of 16. The Lions of Chinguetti, managed by Amir Abdou, are determined to “eliminate” their opponents Algeria, despite heading into the fixture at the bottom of the group with successive defeats to Burkina Faso and Angola.

Mauritania’s form has been less than stellar, with a run of six games without a win, but a glimmer of hope emerged in their recent 3-2 loss to Angola, where they found the back of the net after a goal drought of over seven hours. To secure a historic qualification to the Round of 16, Mauritania must improve their attacking display, considering their struggles in the previous head-to-head encounters with Algeria.

Algeria, the reigning champions of AFCON, are not without their own challenges, having settled for a 2-2 draw against Burkina Faso in their last outing. Djamel Belmadi’s side, undefeated in 14 fixtures since February 2023, remains confident of progressing deep into the competition. However, the pressure is palpable as they aim to avoid a repeat of the disappointment from two years ago when they failed to advance past the group stages.

Striker Aboubakar Kamara, unbeaten across seven Mauritania internationals in which he has scored, will be a player to watch. On the Algerian side, Baghdad Bounedjah, with a knack for netting first or last in six of his last seven goalscoring appearances, will aim to lead his team to victory. With Algeria’s impressive defensive record of conceding only two first-half goals in their last 16 competitive internationals, the stage is set for a compelling encounter with both teams fighting for survival and advancement in AFCON.

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