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Defending champions Algeria knocked out of AFCON by Ivory Coast

Cameroon African Cup Soccer
(Image credit: Themba Hadebe)

Holders Algeria have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations after losing 3-1 to Ivory Coast in their final group game.

The 2019 champions were completely outplayed in Douala on Thursday afternoon, compounding a miserable tournament in which they failed to win a single game.

Algeria had needed to win to progress from Group E but were rocked by a fine volley from Franck Kessie and a powerful header by Ibrahim Sangare in the first half.

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Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe put the result beyond doubt with a fine individual goal nine minutes into the second half.

Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez missed the chance to pull one back when he hit the post from a penalty just before the hour.

Sofiane Bendebka did score – Algeria’s first goal of the competition – with a header on 73 minutes, but it proved mere consolation.

Ivory Coast’s victory ensured they would win the group and go through to a last-16 clash with Egypt.

Equatorial Guinea also progressed as group runners-up after beating 10-man Sierra Leone, who missed a penalty, 1-0 in Limbe with a Pablo Ganet goal.

Their opponents will be Mali, who beat winless Mauritania 2-0 to finish top of Group F.

Gambia took the runners-up spot, and will now play Guinea, after beating Tunisia 1-0 with an injury-time Ablie Jallow strike.

Tunisia, who had a man sent off and missed a penalty for a third successive game, still qualified as one of the best third-placed teams but face a tough clash against Nigeria.

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