Mahrez On Target As Majestic Algeria Storm AFCON Quarters In Guinea Romp

Jul 08 - by AFP for SportPesa News

Unbeaten Desert Foxes cruise past last 16 in 3-0 crushing of Naby Keita's Syli Nationale in fantastic performance on Sunday night

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez (4th-L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Algeria and Guinea at the 30 June Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 7, 2019. PHOTO/AFP

  • Mohammed Youssel Belaili opened the scoring in the 24th minute before the Desert Foxes star man Mahrez added a second in the the 57th to take firm control of the game the 30 June Stadium in Cairo
  • Algeria will face the Ivory Coast or Mali in a quarter-final in Suez Thursday then, if successful, Nigeria or South Africa for a place in the July 19 final
  • The match had long ceased to be a contest when Ounas claimed his third goal of the competition, joining three other players at the top of the scoring charts

CAIRO, Egypt- Manchester City FC star winger Riyad Mahrez produced a fine strike as unbeaten Algeria powered to the Egypt 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter finals with a clinical 3-0 victory over Guinea on Sunday night.

Mohammed Youssel Belaili opened the scoring in the 24th minute before the Desert Foxes star man Mahrez added a second in the the 57th to take firm control of the game the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

Algeria who are yet to concede a goal in this tournament added the gross to their sixth AFCON quarters march when Adam Ounas rounded off the scoring in the 82nd to establish the Desert Foxes who have won all their four outings so far as the team to beat in the race for the continental title.

The Desert Foxes will play the winner of the Monday last 16 clash between 2015 champions, Ivory Coast and Mali in the last eight of the competition with Guinea's hopes of making a game out of the contest curtailed by the injury to their captain and Liverpool FC UEFA Champions League winning midfielder, Naby Keita.

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With hosts Egypt and Herve Renard-coached Morocco suffering stunning last-16 losses, many pundits are tipping Algeria to go all the way and add to their lone title, won in 1990.

They are only nation among the 10 survivors boasting a 100 percent record having beaten Kenya, highly-rated Senegal and Tanzania in group matches to reach the knockout phase.

Algeria will face the Ivory Coast or Mali in a quarter-final in Suez Thursday then, if successful, Nigeria or South Africa for a place in the July 19 final.

Coach Djamel Belmadi changed nine of the team that outclassed Tanzania in their final group game, restoring a host of first choices like Mahrez.

Blatant foul

Guinea meanwhile were missing Liverpool midfielder Keita after he was forced to leave Egypt owing to a recurrence of a groin injury sustained against Barcelona in May.

The referee was kept busy during physical early exchanges, booking Guinean Mady Camara and Algerian Adlane Guedioura within 14 minutes of the kick-off.

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Camara was punished for a blatant foul on Mahrez, but Guedioura fired wide from the resultant free-kick close to the box.

Guedioura was then booked for a foul on Martinez Kante in a case of mistaken identity as big-screen replays showed the offender was Aissa Mandi.

Baghdad Bounedjah wasted a great chance to put Algeria ahead on 20 minutes when he controlled a Guedioura cross with his chest, then blazed wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Bounedjah, who came to the Cup of Nations after scoring 39 goals  for Qatari champions Al Sadd last season, atoned for his miss by helping Algeria take the lead.

His backheel inside the penalty area allowed Belaili to beat Kone from the tightest of angles with a shot that went into the far corner of the net.

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There were more fouls than goal attempts during the remainder of a niggly opening half that finished with Algeria retaining the 1-0 advantage.

Kante became the second Guinean to be yellow-carded, for fouling Djamel Benlamri, and coach Paul Put reacted by taking him off and sending on Fode Koita.

Koita was barely on the field when Algeria doubled their lead as Mahrez collected an Ismael Bennacer cross, cut inside Issiaga Sylla and sent Kone the wrong way.

The match had long ceased to be a contest when Ounas claimed his third goal of the competition, joining three other players at the top of the scoring charts.