Algeria beat Senegal on Thursday night in the C clash to book their place in the last 16 despite having one more game to play in the group.
The North Africa giants turned out the victorious side of the night with Mohamed Youcef Belaii’s 49th minute goal in a hotly contested encounter between the wo African giants.
The much-anticipated match was expected to be a big showdown between two Premier League stars Riyad Mahrez of Algeria and Senegal’s Sadio Mane though the pair had quiet games.
Belaili fire home Sofiane Feghouli’s cross from the edge of the box which turned out to be the only goal of the game that sent Algeria through to the round of 16.
Senegal missed a chance to go level in the final minutes of the game after Sadio Mane headed just over the bar from close range.
Mane was also unlucky not to win a penalty after he appeared to be fouled by two Algerian players in the 70th minute. Many thought that the spot-kick would have been awarded by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) which will not be used in the tournament until the quarter-final stage.
Senegal now faces a huge task to beat Kenya in the final game of the group in order to secure qualification to the last 16.
Though the match between the two giants was anticipated to be a thriller but it did not live up to the hype with Senegal failing to register a single shot on target until the 78th minute.
They came close to scoring when Youssouf Sabaly’s long-range blocked shot was fired wide from close range by Mbaye Diagne.
There was no much action to recall in the first half of the game before the key moments of the game came just after the break when Feghouli fired wide before setting the only goal of the game shortly.
Another breathtaking moment came just after the hour-mark when Senegal midfielder Badou Ndiaye saw his well-taken shot fly over the bar before Mahrez produced some rare magic and fired from long range but it just went wide.
Kenya edge Tanzania in the East African derby thriller
The other match of Group C saw two East African rivals Kenya and Tanzania go head to head in a 5-goal thriller. Kenya came from behind to beat their neighbors as striker Michael Olunga scored twice to hand Kenya the victory.
Olunga had earlier canceled Msuva’s opener with a superb overhead kick to make it 1-1 before drilling in a late winner to make Kenya’s hopes of qualification to knockout stages alive.
Tanzania took the lead in the 6th minute through Simon Msuva’s tap-in before Mbwana Samatta restored their lead before half time.
Johanna Omolo made it 2-2 just after an hour to bring Kenya level before Olunga struck the winner with 10 minutes remaining to play.
The win put Kenya level on 3 points with Senegal and he two will battle it out in the final game of the match for the second qualification spot to the knockout stage.
Tanzania have exited the tournament though they fight to get their first victory against Algeria in their final group game for national glory.
After Thursday’s results, now three nations have booked their places in the round of 16 and they include hosts Egypt, Nigeria and Algeria.