Ivory Coast 3-1 Algeria: Humbled holders sent home as emphatic Elephants march into last-16
Africa Cup of Nations, Group E, Stade Japoma: Ivory Coast 3 (Kessie 22’, Sangare 39’, Pepe 54’), Algeria 1 (Bendebka 73’).
Ivory Coast's midfielder Franck Kessie (2nd R) celebrates with Ivory Coast's midfielder Ibrahim Sangare (R) and Ivory Coast's forward Nicolas Pepe (2nd L) after scoring his team's first goal during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations
Defending champions Algeria have crashed out of the Africa Cup of Nations after losing 3-1 to Ivory Coast to finish bottom of Group E.
The Foxes, who needed a win to keep their tournament hopes alive, could not deal with the Elephants' physical nature and finish the tournament winless.
Patrice Beaumelle's side, who were already guaranteed a place in the knockout stages, showed more attacking intent throughout and took the lead when Nicolas Pepe's deft cross was volleyed in by AC Milan Franck Kessie from close range.
The Foxes looked disjointed in the final third from minute one, lacking intensity in their tempo and passing. Having come into this tournament as the holders and favourites, their performance was again underwhelming with Mahrez and Said Benrahma on the fringes given the magnitude of the game.
Djamel Belmadi made a number of changes in the second half but it made little difference to their overall play.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Nicolas Pepe (Ivory Coast): The Arsenal forward has had an impressive tournament. He set up Kessie's opener with a deft cross and was a threat throughout with his pace and trickery. And he scored the goal of the game with an impressive bit of skill and curling finish.
Ivory Coast's midfielder Ibrahim Sangare (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group E Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Ivory Coast and Algeria at Stade de Japoma in Douala on January 20,
Image credit: Getty Images
22' -GOAL FOR IVORY COAST! Pepe's dinked cross is knocked in by Kessie from close range.
39' - GOAL FOR IVORY COAST! Its a freekick after a foul on Kessie. The cross from Aurier finds an unmarked Sangare with a powerful header.
54' - GOAL FOR IVORY COAST! Arsenal man Pepe with a neat bit of skill in the box before bending the ball into the corner. Cool finish.
59' - PENALTY ALGERIA! Deli is penalised for a collision with Belaïli, who went down easily, that seemed harsh. Mahrez's spotkick hits the post.
73' - GOAL FOR ALGERIA! From the corner, its crossed back in and Bendebka heads it in from close range.
90'+3 - DISALLOWED GOAL FOR IVORY COAST! Haller produces a bullet header from Maiga's pinpoint cross. But VAR eventually says it is offside after the final whistle is blown.
Riyad Mahrez missed from the penalty spot for the first time since October 2018 against Liverpool at Anfield. He had scored each of his last eight penalties before this game.