Angola and Algeria qualify after draw

LUANDA - Hosts Angola and Algeria qualified for the African Nations Cup quarter-finals after playing out a goalless draw in their final Group A match on Monday.

Angola top the standings with five points and will stay in the capital for the weekend's quarter-final.

Algeria also qualified thanks to tournament rules that take into account head-to-head record despite finishing tied on four points with Mali. Algeria beat Mali 1-0 last week.

Both Angola and Algeria were content to settle for the draw long before the final whistle but Algeria might have snatched victory with two good second half opportunities.

Both involved the Blackpool winger Hameur Bouazza, who first set up a chance in the 48th minute with an inviting square ball but neither team mate Abdelkader Ghezzal nor the two Angolan defenders sandwiching him got a touch.

A jinking run from Bouazza on the hour mark was also a rare forward foray but his attempt at a flick went tantalisingly wide.

The two teams then irritated the 50,000-strong by choosing to keep possession of the ball from then on rather than making any attempt at breaking the deadlock.

"Once we knew Mali were winning (in the other group match against Malawi) we played with more circumspect," said Angola coach Manuel Jose.

His counterpart Rabah Saadane, added: "We had our chances and we showed we are progressing game and game. Every match we've got better."

Madjid Bougherra had a close-in chance saved by Angola goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes midway through the first half while Angola's only real chance of the game fell inside the opening 10 minutes to Djalma, but his final effort on goal lacked the necessary power.

Both countries will discover the identity of their respective quarter-final opponents on Tuesday when Group B is concluded with the game between Burkina Faso and Ghana.

Ivory Coast have already gone through from Group B but it is yet to be determined whether they finish first or second in the standings.