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Benaldjia strike sinks Senegal
Algeria opened their U-23 African Championship campaign with a narrow 1-0 win over Senegal in an open game that had numerous scoring chances during a group A match in Tangiers. Algeria had the lion’s share of possession and created more chances but poor finishing was evident and some ill-luck too contributed to the low score. The match took off at a fast pace as early as the 8th minute, Algeria’s Mohamed Chalali nearly opened the scoring when his well struck shot cannoned off the upright with goalkeeper Ousmane Mane well beaten.
A couple more times Algeria threatened with the Scotland based Chalali causing Senegal all sorts of problems with his runs from deep. Senegal had keeper Mane to thank for keeping the score-board blank. Three times the Senegalese stopper rescued his side when, Farid Daoud, Chalali and Youcef Belaili broke through the defence only for Mane to save. He was easily the busier of the two keepers. Senegal backline was kept busy but between them Lamine Gassama, Sady Gueye, Khaliloulah Seck and Khassim Soumare cleaned up whenever called upon to do so. Just before half time Senegal almost scored against the run of play when Abdoulaye Sane beat two defenders before sending a cracking shot that whistled past the post.
After the break Senegal upped the ante and were full of running, with Dame Diop and Dieylani Fall taking shots at goal during a period when Senegal threatened keeper Rafik Mazouzi’s goal. Senegalese captain Stephane Badji made a few good runs just behind the strikers picking up layoffs but his shooting let him down every time as he blazed his attempted shots ended way up into the top tier of the stadium. Senegalese coach Abdoulaye Sarr brought in strikers Paul Tendeng and Kara Mbodji for Diop and Joseph Loy to try and break the deadlock. As the clock ticked on the tale of missed chances continued with Algeria the main culprits but Mane was
In the 76th minute Senegal ‘s resistance finally crumbled when the neat passes that had trouble them released Mehdi Benaldia off an attempted clearance by a Senegalese defender. The ball fell kindly to the striker on the left flank and he picked his spot to slot past an advancing Mane for the opening goal. It was just deserts for Algeria’s dominance but the open play continued even after the goal.
The goal scorer then turned villain when he picked up his second yellow card for dissent and was dismissed in the injury time. Benaldjia had earlier got a yellow for removing his shirt in celebration after scoring.
HOSTS COUNTRIES OF NEXT CAF COMPETITIONSOrange CAN 2012
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