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Afcon 2019: Algeria book round of 16 spot thanks to Belaili strike

Youcef Belaili’s goal fired Algeria into the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16.

Algeria booked their spot in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Senegal on Thursday.

It was a match billed as a blockbuster between two of the best sides in African football but Youcef Belaili’s second-half goal was the only moment of genuine quality in Cairo.

Even with Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane on the pitch, the forgettable Group C encounter was littered with an incredible 53 fouls and devoid of goalmouth action.

Youssouf Sabaly’s long-range strike was parried into the path of Mbaye Diagne but the striker inexplicably nodded wide.

Senegal kept pushing for a leveller and nearly had one when Bounedjah went close to scoring an own goal and Mane then headed a corner over in the dying stages.

But one goal was enough for Algeria, who will now turn their attention to the knockout stages. Senegal’s next task comes against Kenya on Monday.

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