Group E of the 2021 African Cup of Nations is turning out to be the real group of death as the four teams in the group are all set to book fight for their places in the next round on the last round of matches.
Equatorial Guinea was beaten in their first match by the Ivory Coast whereas Sierra Leone heroically held Algeria, the defending champions to a goalless stalemate. Whereas the Leone Stars continued on the same trajectory and secured an all-important 2-2 draw against the Elephants, the Nzalang Nacional went a step better and caused a heavy upset on Sunday night with a lone goal defeat of the defending champions.
Algeria was tipped to brush aside their opponents despite the opening day drawback against Sierra Leone who are one of the lower-ranked teams in the tournament. But a spirited Equator-Guinean side that played as a team with collective purpose held their nerves and defended as a unit.
When the goal came in the 70th-minute through Esteban Orozco Fernandez Obiang Obono, it was a big blow to the hearts of the Algerians and one that boosted the belief of the Juan Micha led side. Algeria pushed all men forward in a bid to draw level but none work and the National Thunder held on to secure the precious victory.
Sierra Leone who made the big return to the tournament after 26 years in the darkness is making top headlines with the results against two heavyweights and teams that are tipped by bookmakers to move closer to the finals if not the finals.
Sebastian Haller’s 25th-minute opener for Ivory was nullified by Musah Noah Kamara 10 minutes after the first-half break. Nicolas Pepe restored the Elephants lead 10 minutes later but Alhaji Kamara was at hand to snatch the point for the Leone Stars in second-half added time.