Sierra Leone held the Africa Cup of Nations title-holders, Algeria, to a surprise goalless draw in Douala on Tuesday. Among other Africa Cup of Nations football news, Sierra Leone and Algeria drew 0-0, Algeria uninspired in defending their title.
Algeria should’ve enjoyed an easy start against minnows Sierra Leone in Group E campaign at the tournament in Cameroon. That was especially the case because Sierra Leone were returning to the tournament for the first time since 1996.
But it proved a brave showing by the West Africans. They clung on for a point in sweltering heat in the port city.
The result did, nonetheless, extend Algeria’s unbeaten run to 35 matches. They’re now within touching distance of the record of 37 consecutive undefeated internationals enjoyed by European champions Italy last year.
Africa Cup of Nations Football News – Sierra Leone and Algeria Drew 0-0
Algeria came close to opening the score in the second minute as Riyad Mahrez fed Islam Slimani. Slimani, in turn, circumvented the Sierra Leone goalkeeper but ran out of room. He thus had to try and find the target from a tight angle.
But Sierra Leone quickly showed they would prove no easy walkover as they came storming back down the other end. They were even close to scoring through Alhaji Kamara’s sixth minute effort.
Kamara again almost scored with a header midway through the first half from a free kick.
On the other hand, though, Algeria struggled in the heat, and only began to exert their authority after the break.
With Mahrez crucial to their attacking moves, it was nonetheless Yacine Brahimi’s two chances that gave the Algerians the lead.
His ball set Brahimi in on goal in the 52nd minute but the veteran midfielder scuffed his shot. This allowed goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara to make a one-handed stop and gather at the second attempt.
Brahimi’s second chance came on the hour mark but the shot took its direction and flew straight at Karama.
Steven Caulker then made a vital block to deny substitute Sofiane Bendebka seven minutes later. Sierra Leone’s new cap, Caulker is a former England international who switched allegiance on the eve of the tournament.
Caulker, who struggled with a cramp late into play, again denied him some 10 minutes later with another important intervention.
Kamara turned Mahrez’s 80th minute effort around the corner and five minutes later substitute Said Benrahma missed a good opportunity. Algeria’s frustration thus continued amid a frenzied late finish that failed to produce a victory.