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2021 Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea stun Algeria as holders face shock group stage exit

Published on: 16 January 2022
2021 Africa Cup of Nations: Equatorial Guinea stun Algeria as holders face shock group stage exit
Algeria, captained by Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez (centre), had drawn 0-0 against Sierra Leone in their first match in Cameroon

Reigning African champions Algeria face a shock exit from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations after losing to Equatorial Guinea on Sunday night.

The scrappy game produced an unexpected result as Equatorial won 1-0 thanks to a second-half strike by Esteban Obiang who slid in at the far post to convert a flick-on and net the only goal with 20 minutes left in Douala.

Algeria, who had two goals disallowed must now win their final group game which is against former champions Ivory Coast. Algeria won penalties when they sides met in the quarter-finals in 2019.

The result ended Algeria's unbeaten run at 35 matches, two short of Italy's world record set last year, as they suffered their first defeat since October 2018.

Equatorial Guinea reached the Nations Cup semi-finals as hosts in 2015 but, having qualified for the tournament by right for the first time, this will go down as one of their biggest results in their history.

Equatorial Guinea move on to three points and are second in Group E, with Ivory Coast top on four points, Sierra Leone third on two and Algeria bottom on one.

The tight nature of the group will make Thursday's final round of games fascinating, with the Equatoguineans facing the Leone Stars in Limbe at the same time as Algeria take on Ivory Coast in Douala (16:00 GMT).

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