Algeria suffered a shocking 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea in their second Group E match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.
Esteban Obiang's 70th-minute goal separated the teams in Douala and it eventually ended the Desert Foxes' 35-game unbeaten record, since their 1-0 loss to Benin in an Afcon qualifier in October 2018.
After they struggled to find the back of the net against Sierra Leone in their first game, Djamel Belmadi dropped Islam Slimani and Yacine Brahimi while Baghdad Bounedjah and Sofiane Bendebka got the nod to start.
However, the changes made little or no impact as the North African giants still struggled to break down Equatorial Guinea’s defence.
They started the game with more attacking flair but Bounedjah was found guilty of a harsh challenge on Saul Coco in the fourth minute which earned him the first yellow card.
Algeria's first chance at goal came in the 22nd minute when Youcef Belaili connected to a pass from Riyad Mahrez but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Jesus Owono. A few moments later, the reigning champions had another chance from Boundedjah which could not beat goalkeeper Owono.
Belmadi’s men obviously struggled to match their opponents’ physicality which resulted in six yellow cards for the two teams in the first 45 minutes.
After dominating the majority of the game, Algeria were shocked in the 70th minute when Obiang tapped in a loose ball in the penalty area following a corner-kick.
The National Thunder almost punished the reigning champions again with a fast break but Ismael Bennacer ended the attack following a foul on Luis Nlavo in the 73rd minute.
After conceding the goal, the 2019 champions struggled to find the target as Equatorial Guinea did well defensively to preserve their lead and seal a monumental victory that shot them to second in Group E.
The National Thunder have three points, a point behind leaders Ivory Coast after two games while Sierra Leone are third with two points and Algeria at the bottom with a single point.
The North Africans now have a must-win game in their hands to have a chance to advance to the knockout stage.
They are scheduled to play Ivory Coast on Thursday while Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone will face each other that same day.