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Algeria cruise to another convincing win over Niger following slow start

It was business as usual for Algeria in their 4-0 victory over Niger in Niamey on Tuesday to take back the lead in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group A. The Fennec Foxes sit on ten points with goal differential giving them the lead over Burkina Faso, who are even on points following the completion of their sweep of Djibouti. Riyad Mahrez was at the center of things once again for Algeria, scoring a goal and assisting on one as well to help his side overcome a sluggish start.

Niger stated their excitement prior to this fixture about being able to host games back home in Niamey, and their energy level was high at the start. Forward Daniel Sosah had a very good opportunity to stun the visitors in the 2nd minute, but after taking many touches in the penalty area he blasted his shot over the bar of Raïs M’Bolhi’s goal. The first ten minutes were a period that Algeria had to ride out as the Nigeriens pushed forward in numbers to try and hit the heavy favorites early on.

The visitors finally settled down after surviving the opening fifteen minutes and their first chance came in the 17th minute. Baghdad Bounedjah was wide open to meet a cross from Youcef Belaïli but could not direct his header from close range on target. A few minutes later the Fennecs got it right when Bounedjah combined well with Belaïli before laying a low cross to a wide open Mahrez for an easy finish. The 33rd minute saw the Algerians add to their lead when Aïssa Mandi took advantage of the Nigerien defense’s failure to clear a Mahrez free kick to fire home from inside the penalty area.

It only took two minutes after halftime for Algeria to add a third. The Algerian attack broke out in transition and caught the Nigeriens too advanced, with Belaïli finding a wide open Sofiane Feghouli on the right side of the penalty area. Feghouli drew goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda out before sliding a pass over to an open Ismaël Bennacer, who had plenty of time to direct his finish from eight yards out past two defenders attempting to guard the goal in Daouda’s absence. In the 54th minute Mahrez got his assist when he found space on the left flank and crossed low for Bounedjah to apply a sliding finish.

Highlights of Algeria’s win are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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