Algeria claimed the valuable three points in a dramatic game against Group C rivals South Africa after the El Khadra came from a goal down to win 3-1.
The game started off slowly with South Africa wasting possession constantly in their own half and Algeria pressing very high up the pitch. Algeria tried to create chances but the South African defence were very tight which stopped Algeria from getting an early lead. South Africa started to venture out of their own half and started to threaten the Algeria defence and in the 17th minute Rantie burst through on goal and rounded the keeper, however his pace was too much and the striker run off the pitch with the ball and out for a goal kick. This was the spark that the Bafana Bafana needed as South Africa came close again when Furman’s shot from 20-yards out smashed against the frame of the bar after M’Boli got the slightest of touches onto the ball and the follow up shot from Rantie was waved for offside.
South Africa had another fantastic chance to open the scoring when Vilakazi turned from his marker from 6-yards out but M’Boli made a fantastic dive to collect the ball from the feet of Vilakazi, moments later South Africa had another chance when Jali dribbled his way into box but his fierce shot was again well saved by M’Boli to keep the game scoreless at half time.
It only took seven minutes of the second half for the opening goal to be scored when Phala finally broke the deadlock when Rantie and Vilakazi linked up brilliantly on the edge of the Algeria box before Vilakazi laid the ball of to Phala. He was unmarked in the box and the midfielder slotted the ball past M’Boli calmly to make it 1-0. Things could had got better for South Africa when the Bafana Bafana were awarded a penalty after Mandi took down Rantie inside the penalty box and the referee pointed to the spot, Rantie stepped up to the spot and smashed the ball onto the crossbar and out for a goal kick to keep the score at 1-0.
Algeria almost pulled one back when Slimani had two great chances to score but Keet pulled off a fantastic double save to deny the Sporting player. South Africa again where on the attack as Phala set the ball up for Rantie but again the Bournemouth striker fluffed his line from point blank range and M’Boli collected the danger. Algeria finally found their equaliser in the 67th minute through an Hlatshwayo own goal, Brahimi sends in a ball trying to find Belfodil but the Porto players cross found Hlatshwayo who glances the ball into his own net to make it 1-1.
The game changed completely when Algeria took the lead in the 73rd minute when Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam nicked the ball off Medjani and the full back fired the ball at the near post and almost bursts the net to give Algeria the lead with a rocket of a goal. South Africa tried to grab a late equaliser to grab something from their opening AFCON game, however, their hopes of a dramatic comeback were quickly vanquished when Slimani’s week shot from the edge of the penalty box went under the body of Keet to secure the three points for Algeria.