Defending champions Algeria missed a bunch of goal-scoring opportunities to coach Jamel Belmadi’s rising fury on the spot and drew 0-0 with Sierra Leone in a major African Cup surprise on Tuesday.
Sierra Leone are playing in their first African Cup of Nations since 1996 and only for the third time, and come against an Algerian team that has been unbeaten since 2018. But Algeria found no way out of Sierra Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara, who celebrated the result. Group E game at the Japoma Stadium in Douala as if it were a win.
The Sierra Leone squad players finally ran from the bench to the field to attend the ceremony.
Algeria had countless opportunities to defend their title with the victory that was expected. Yasin Brahimi made two shots right on Kamara at the start of the second half.
Algerian substitute Sofiane Bendebka could not hold his own on target after making another save in the 67th minute to put Kamara out of position. Riyad Mahrez was denied when Kamra got his fingers on for a low shot that was destined for the bottom corner in the final 10 minutes.
Algeria surrounded Sierra Leone for most of the second half, but when striker Baghdad Bounezah, another substitute, weakened and headed straight to Kamara in the final act of the game in injury time, the Belmadi touchline completely disappointed. But he fell on his knees. and slammed his hands on the ground.
It could have been worse for Algeria: Alhaji Kamara had scored a goal for Sierra Leone at the start of the second half – right.
Steven Colker played in central defense for Sierra Leone. He is a former England defender who played an international in 2012, but was allowed to switch allegiance last month because of Sierra Leone’s grandparents.
On the eve of the game, Belmadi and the Algerian team expressed their support for three Algerian journalists who were attacked and robbed by men outside their hotel in Douala. Two journalists suffered stab wounds, but were discharged from the hospital.
Algeria faces Equatorial Guinea and then Ivory Coast in their other group games.
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