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Algeria wanted to redeem itself during these play-offs for the 2022 World Cup after a failed CAN. Early elimination half forgiven, therefore, since Belmadi’s men defeated Cameroon at the Japoma stadium in Douala where they had lost two months earlier (0-1). It remains to be confirmed in the second leg.
The exorcism is going well for Algeria. Two months after his unfortunate deletion of CAN-2022Djamel Belmadi’s Fennecs defeated their demons by winning against Rigobert Song’s Cameroon in Douala, the same place of his unfortunate departure from the track.
However, at the start of the game, Algeria seemed paralyzed returning to Japoma Stadium. Cameroon puts it on the line, and Toko Ekambi tries his luck from afar and forces M’Bohli to make a save (5me). Then, Vincent Aboubakar sits on the box and manages to find a striking angle. The shot misses (6me).
Islam Slimani, best Algerian
Algeria reacts thanks to Slimani. Does the former Lyonnais steal the ball from Ngadeu’s feet, then go to the goal before launching a great shot? Onana makes a great save (13me). In the corner that follows two Algerians collide and Cameroon starts a 4 against 2. But the shot is poorly played.
After this sequence, the debates are balanced. The Indomitable Lions monopolize the ball, but find no space in the Algerian block. However, the attacks lack sharpness, such as this lonely advance of Camp Toko (31me) or a failed center by Jean Onana (35me).
The Fennec take the opportunity to surprise the locals before the break. On a neo-Brestois Belaili free-kick, Islam Slimani rises higher and places a powerful header under André Onana’s bar (40me0-1).
Burlesque interruption of the match due to the spotlights
Upon returning from the locker room, an incident will tarnish the smooth running of the match. The failure of a spotlight in this stadium, delivered especially for the CAN-2022, interrupted the match. It will take seven long minutes for the match to resume at a choppy pace.
Lights out also wiped out all the creativity. Cameroon is short of ideas, Algeria is well placed and the minutes are ticking by, with no real action near the goals. Belmadi seems happy to take the score and pulls out his trump card. Riad Mahrez.
In a Karl Toko Ekambi corner shot from left to right, the ball goes to the Algerian area. Rais M’Bolhi makes a difficult start, before ending up grabbing the ball (80me). He then blocks a long shot from the former Lyonnais. The Cameroonian fans push their team, but Algeria is united. And, after eleven minutes of added time, the victory is good for the latter.
Before the second leg played at home, the Algerians achieved a decisive victory in the Qatar race. The Fennec return to the highest African level. The proof: the Cameroonians had not lost at home since 1998.