Algeria put together yet another disappointing outing during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday, losing 2-1 to Tunisia.
The result means the Desert Warriors are in serious danger of missing out on qualification for the next round, having won just a single point so far. Their last outing of the group stages will be against a solid Senegal team, which easily beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in their second match of this year's AFCON.
Here's a look at the Group B standings:
|AFCON Standings: Group B|
Here's the schedule for Friday:
|AFCON Schedule; Friday|
|4 p.m.||Ivory Coast||vs.||DR Congo|
Algeria entered Thursday's match in dire need of a win after the 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe in their first outing, and the Desert Warriors were expected to cruise past Tunisia, who didn't show much in their opener against Senegal.
But fans expecting a one-sided affair were in for a surprise. Tunisia took the match right to their rivals from the opening minute, and the action was fast and entertaining.
The Daily Mail's Jonny Singer loved what he saw:
Islam Slimani and Riyad Mahrez did most of the damage early for the Fennecs, but Tunisian goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi played a fantastic match, doing everything he could to keep his team in it. He would last 87 minutes before he made his way to the sidelines with an injury.
Algeria had their chances to take the lead in the first half, and their inability to convert any of them came back to haunt them after the break. First, Aissa Mandi accidentally converted the ball into his own net, and 16 minutes later, Faouzi Ghoulam gave away a soft penalty, which Naim Sliti converted to double the lead.
Colin Udoh of KweseSports noted it didn't take long for Tunisia to start stalling:
He also feared for Algeria's chances of making it out of Group B:
The Fennecs pushed with all their might to salvage something from the game, and once Mathlouthi left the pitch with an injury, they found the breakthrough. Sofiane Hanni pulled one back in injury time, but despite a frantic finale, Algeria couldn't find the equaliser they sorely needed.
The result leaves Algeria in big trouble, especially after Senegal cruised to a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe. It took the Group B favourites just 10 minutes to take the lead, courtesy of Liverpool star Sadio Mane.
Six minutes later, Henri Saivet doubled the lead, and fans and pundits alike were impressed by what they were seeing. Reuters' Ed Dove was already looking ahead to Monday's meeting with Algeria:
Senegal took their foot off the gas after the quick two-goal burst, athough they had their chances to add to the lead. They also opted to take some of their starters off a little early, likely with an eye on the knockout stages.
The result means Algeria no longer control their own destiny entering the final matchday of the group stages. The Fennecs have to beat Senegal and hope the result of the other match plays out in their favour.