Algeria sneak past Ivory Coast to reach AFCON semifinals
Algeria sneak past Ivory Coast to reach AFCON semifinals

Algeria sneak past Ivory Coast to reach AFCON semifinals

Algeria booked a place in the semifinals of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament, after beating Ivory Coasts 4-3 on penalties in the quarterfinal match played on Thursday night. 

The match ended in a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time, with Algeria taking the lead in the 20th minute through Sofiane Feghouli, only for Jonathan Kodjia to equalise in the second-half minutes after Bounedjah missed a penalty. 

The match kicked off with Ivory Coast on the front foot and came close to taking the lead thrice in the first quarter.

Elephants' super start

First, it was Max Gradel who rattled the woodwork with a curling effort from the edge of the box on the seventh minute, with a brilliant fingertip save from Rais Mbolhi keeping it goalless.

Wilfried Zaha then embarked on a promising run on the right-wing, but his cut-back was badly sliced by the lurking Jonathan Kodjia who skewed it above the post. 

The Ivorians then survived on the 15th minute, after allowing Mahrez to get the ball on to his famous left foot just inside the box, but the Manchester City star fizzed his shot across goal and wide.

Algeria takes lead

The Algerians, however, got their goal on the 21st minute, after Bagayoko was bullied off the ball by Bounedjah before Ismail Bennacer pounced to pick out Sofiane Feghouli, who finished first time through the bodies.

The second half started just like the first, only that this time the North African side who went straight to the attack and won a penalty after Boundejah was brought down by the goalkeeper, who was yellow-carded. 

Bounedjah, however, hit the crossbar with his effort, missign the chance to put his side 2-0 up and probably seal their semifinal ticket. 

The lost opportunity came to haunt them in the 63rd minute, as Khodjia equalised for the Elephants from the edge of the box, with his shot finding the bottom corner after he was fed nicely by Zaha. 

Missed penalty

Algeria got off the blocks in search of a lead and came close on the 69th minute as Mahrez's goalbound shot was blocked by Bagayoko. 

Ivory Coast had the chance to take the lead on the 76th minute, but Zaha fluffed a good opportunity when it was easy to find the net than missing the chance. 

None of the team could find the winner in regulation time, with the match forced to go into extra time. 

Algeria scored four and missed one in the shootout, with Serey Die and Wilfried Bonny missing their kicks for the Elephants. 

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