Africa Cup of Nations - Group B
Algeria2Zimbabwe2

Afcon 2017: Riyad Mahrez scores twice to rescue Algeria

Riyad Mahrez is congratulated by Nabil Bentaleb
Riyad Mahrez is congratulated by Nabil Bentaleb

Riyad Mahrez scored twice as Algeria left it late to earn a 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Leicester winger put his side ahead with a curling shot in off the post.

But Kudakwashe Mahachi's low shot into the corner and a Nyasha Mushekwi penalty made it 2-1 to Zimbabwe - a lead they held until the 82nd minute.

Algeria hit the bar twice before Mahrez levelled with a speculative 25-yard shot that Zimbabwe goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva should have saved.

While Mukuruva may feel embarrassed at his error, Algeria just about managed to save their own blushes as they rescued a point from their Group B opener - a match they were very much expected to win.

Zimbabwe, making their first appearance at the finals since 2006, will perhaps count themselves a little unlucky after playing some excellent football.

Khama Billiat was superb for the Warriors and was only denied a spectacular 30-yard goal by an outstanding fingertip save from Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbholi, who diverted the ball on to the post.

Zimbabwe celebrate after scoring against Algeria
Zimbabwe celebrate after scoring but could not hold on for victory

Mbholi thwarted Billiat on more than that one occasion and also produced a brilliant save with his leg to keep out Cuthbert Malajila's shot when the score was 2-1 to Zimbabwe.

But Algeria improved considerably after the interval and forced Zimbabwe back.

They hit the woodwork twice, through a Ramy Bensebaini header and when Zimbabwe defender Elisha Muroiwa narrowly avoided an own goal when he sliced a clearance.

Mahrez proved their saviour, even if it will not go down as the cleanest strike he has ever hit.

And the Desert Foxes had chances to win the match, particularly when Mukuruva came flying out and left his goal wide open but Yacine Brahimi could not take advantage.

Strong return by Zimbabwe

The Warriors will take heart from their performance. They lost a key player in Knowledge Musona through injury after only 12 minutes and recovered from 1-0 down to cause Algeria a mighty scare.

Mamelodi Sundowns' star man Billiat was on top form and will cause any defence problems.

Mahrez needs support

The BBC and Confederation of African Footballer of the Year has got off to a terrific start, but some of Algeria's other big names were not up to speed. Islam Slimani missed a great chance to score when he headed weakly and Brahimi can certainly produce more.

But the Desert Foxes showed resilience - a necessary quality in tournament football.

Line-ups

Algeria

  • 23M'bolhi
  • 20BelkhiterBooked at 28minsSubstituted forMeftahat 45'minutes
  • 2Mandi
  • 21Bensebaini
  • 3Ghoulam
  • 17Guédioura
  • 10Bentaleb
  • 7Mahrez
  • 11Brahimi
  • 15SoudaniSubstituted forGhezzalat 77'minutes
  • 13Slimani

Substitutes

  • 1Rahmani
  • 4Cadamuro
  • 5Belkaroui
  • 6Mesbah
  • 8Bennacer
  • 9Hanni
  • 12Benyahia
  • 14Boundjah
  • 16Malek
  • 18Ghezzal
  • 19Abeid
  • 22Meftah

Zimbabwe

  • 16Mukuruva
  • 4Zvirekwi
  • 5Muroiwa
  • 2Nhamoinesu
  • 6Bhasera
  • 14Katsande
  • 3Phiri
  • 10Mahachi
  • 20Billiat
  • 17MusonaSubstituted forRusikeat 12'minutesBooked at 38mins
  • 9MushekwiSubstituted forMalajilaat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Donovan
  • 7Rusike
  • 8Rusike
  • 11Ndoro
  • 12Kangwa
  • 13Malajila
  • 15Hadebe
  • 19Mhlanga
  • 21Kadewere
  • 22Machapa
  • 23Mawaya
Referee:
Bamlak Tessema Weyesa

Match Stats

Home TeamAlgeriaAway TeamZimbabwe
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home21
Away11
Shots on Target
Home8
Away8
Corners
Home9
Away9
Fouls
Home10
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, Algeria 2, Zimbabwe 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Algeria 2, Zimbabwe 2.

Foul by Rachid Ghezzal (Algeria).

Onismor Bhasera (Zimbabwe) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt saved. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Islam Slimani.

Attempt missed. Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Mohamed Rabie Meftah.

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Onismor Bhasera.

Attempt missed. Costa Nhamoinesu (Zimbabwe) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Onismor Bhasera with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Zimbabwe. Conceded by Ramy Bensebaini.

Adlène Guédioura (Algeria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe).

Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Cuthbert Malajila (Zimbabwe).

Attempt missed. Islam Slimani (Algeria) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Rabie Meftah with a cross.

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cuthbert Malajila (Zimbabwe).

Goal!

Goal! Algeria 2, Zimbabwe 2. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.

Attempt missed. Willard Katsande (Zimbabwe) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Onismor Bhasera.

Attempt saved. Cuthbert Malajila (Zimbabwe) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Islam Slimani (Algeria) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Yacine Brahimi.

Substitution

Substitution, Zimbabwe. Cuthbert Malajila replaces Nyasha Mushekwi.

Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Willard Katsande (Zimbabwe).

Substitution

Substitution, Algeria. Rachid Ghezzal replaces Soudani.

Attempt missed. Soudani (Algeria) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.

Offside, Algeria. Adlène Guédioura tries a through ball, but Soudani is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Nabil Bentaleb (Algeria) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yacine Brahimi.

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Elisha Muroiwa.

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Elisha Muroiwa.

Offside, Zimbabwe. Kudakwashe Mahachi tries a through ball, but Khama Billiat is caught offside.

Corner, Algeria. Conceded by Hardlife Zvirekwi.

Attempt blocked. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Hand ball by Hardlife Zvirekwi (Zimbabwe).

Attempt saved. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yacine Brahimi.

Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Danny Phiri (Zimbabwe).

Attempt saved. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adlène Guédioura.

Attempt blocked. Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Adlène Guédioura (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Rusike (Zimbabwe).

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Burkina Faso10101101
2Cameroon10101101
3Gabon10101101
4Guinea-Bissau10101101

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Senegal11002023
2Algeria10102201
3Zimbabwe10102201
4Tunisia100102-20

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Congo DR00000000
2Ivory Coast00000000
3Morocco00000000
4Togo00000000

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Egypt00000000
2Ghana00000000
3Mali00000000
4Uganda00000000
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