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Algeria eventually break through Lebanese defense to move top of Group D in FIFA Arab Cup

Algeria have their ticket to the knockout stages in the FIFA Arab Cup all but booked after the Fennecs took down Lebanon 2-0 on Saturday. Second half goals from Yacine Brahimi and Tayeb Meziani were enough to lift the favorites over a Lebanon team whose defensive shell held up for long periods. Algeria will wrap up their group stage campaign against rivals Egypt on Tuesday, with both teams remaining likely to advance out of Group D.

Lebanon once again was able to hold out and keep the match scoreless by halftime, providing a similar defensive performance to Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat against Egypt where the less fancied Lebanese were able to frustrate their opponent’s attack. The 14th minute saw Algeria come close when a corner kick found Mehdi Tahrat, whose header came back off the crossbar. In the ensuing scramble, Baghdad Bounedjah’s bouncing shot went through a crowd before being cleared off the line for goalkeeper Mostafa Matar to collect.

The Algerian side probed patiently and had a couple of open shots from distance, but Lebanon remained disciplined and held out until the halftime whistle. It seemed like only a matter of time before the breakthrough would come, but it took until the 69th minute before the favorites finally found a way. Forward Youcef Belaïli found himself isolated on the wing and made a dribbling move past Hussein Eldor, who stretched a foot out and tripped Belaïli up just inside the penalty area. Brahimi sent his spot kick straight down the middle to put Algeria up 1-0.

Like in their matchup against Egypt, Lebanon could not generate much going forward once going behind, even after two yellow cards in the span of six minutes saw Algeria midfielder Houssem Mrezigue dismissed. Late on Algeria found a second when Bounedjah sent substitute Meziane in behind the defense with only the goalkeeper to beat, where the Étoile du Sahel player made no mistake shooting past Matar.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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