Algeria 2-0 Kenya
30 June Stadium, Cairo
Riyad Mahrez shined as Algeria humbled Kenya 2-0 in a group C Africa Cup of Nations contest played on Sunday at 30 June Stadium, Cairo.
Following their disappointing 2017 AFCON campaign, Algeria only needed to start the tournament this time in brilliant fashion.
The desert foxes nearly hit the front inside 60 seconds but Baghdad Bounedjah’s effort went wide. Youcef Belaili also went close on two occasions.
With the pressure mounting on the East African side, Dennis Odhiambo fouled Youcef Atal in the penalty area. Boundejah calmly converted past Patrick Matasi to send the Algerians into a bouncing frenzy.
Mahrez who was a constant threat to the Harambee starts, doubled Algeria’s advantage at the stroke of halftime turning in a superb Ismael Bennacer’s cross from 12 yards with a cool finish.
In the second period, both sides created limited opportunities though Algeria continued to dominate possession. It was entirely a turgid affair but Djamel Belmadi’s men got the job done.
Algeria made the following changes, Yacine Brahimi, Mehdi Abeid and Andy Delort for Youcef Belaili, Adlene Guedioura and Baghdad Bounedjah.
Kenya introduced Johanna Ochieng Omolo for Johana Omondi and Ismael Athuman for Dennis Odhiambo.
Harambee pair of Philemon Otieno and Aboud Omar were the only players cautioned on the evening.
Algeria will next face off with Senegal in a mouthwatering contest on Thursday 27th June whereas Kenya’s next clash is against East African neighbours Tanzania.
The other games played on Sunday
-Morocco 1-0 Namibia
-Senegal 2-0 Tanzania
-Ivory Coast vs South Africa @5:30pm
-Tunisia vs Angola @8pm
-Mali vs Mauritania @11pm