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WC Qualification Africa

World Cup Qualifiers: Mahrez on target as Algeria extend unbeaten run vs Burkina Faso

18:23 IST 16/11/2021
The North Africans twice lost their lead to share the spoils but had done enough to make it to the next phase

Africa Cup of Nations defending champions Algeria extended their unbeaten run to 33 matches and advanced to the next phase of the World Cup qualifiers after a 2-2 draw with Burkina Faso on Tuesday evening.

The last meeting between the sides in Group A had ended 1-1, but it was the Desert Foxes who came into the match as favourites having won their last two games in all competitions, against the Burkinabes.

After a decent start by the hosts and near misses, they eventually scored their first goal after 21 minutes. Qatar FC forward Youcef Belaili found Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez in a prime position, and the Citizen did not struggle to find the back of the net.

The Stallions opted to take them head-on and were rewarded in the 37th minute. Gustavo Sangare managed to pass the ball to an unmarked Zakaria Sanogo who equalized.

The teams went to the break on level terms, but Algeria should have scored about three more goals if they took their chances.

Sofiane Feghouli was introduced by the North Africans after the break, taking the place of Baghdad Bounedjah.

The former made an impact in the 68th minute, converting Belaili's pass. It happened to be his last contribution in the game; a minute later, West Ham United winger Said Benrahma took his place.

But it was the visitors who equalized with seven minutes to go. Algeria conceded a penalty in the 83rd minute and Issoufou Dayo held his nerves to send the goalkeeper the wrong way and ensure the spoils were shared.

Algeria finished top of the table with 14 points after four wins and two draws. They scored an impressive 25 goals and conceded four. The Stallions managed to gather 12 after three wins and as many draws.

The Burkinabes scored 12 goals and conceded four. Niger and Djibouti took the last two positions with seven and no points respectively.