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AFCON 2023: Bounedjah saves a point for Algeria in thrilling draw with Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso appeared to be headed towards victory on Saturday at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations but a late equalizer from Baghdad Bounedjah saved a point for Algeria in their 2-2 Group D draw. Bounedjah scored twice to erase deficits caused by Burkinabé goals from Mohamed Konaté and Bertrand Traoré to leave Les Verts with two points. Algeria still likely need to defeat Mauritania on Tuesday to advance out of the group stage while Burkina Faso can still win the group with a victory against Angola.

Algeria focused on keeping possession in the blistering hot conditions in Bouaké but came up against a durable Burkinabé defense that put up a strong resistance. Chances were rare in the first half and the best look for the Algerians came when Bounedjah intercepted a headed pass from Stallions central defender Issoufou Dayo in the 26th minute but put his shot wide.

Just before halftime the West African nation snatched the lead under surprising circumstances in stoppage time. A chipped pass over the Algerian defense from Abdoul Tapsoba found Konaté who leaped to head past Algeria goalkeeper Anthony Mandrea. The goal was initially ruled offsides but VAR determined Konaté was just onside to confirm a lead for Burkina Faso.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi brought on forward Mohamed Amoura at halftime and the Fennecs attack was energized. After a spell of early pressure the match was level in the 51st minute through Bounedjah, who pounced to tap in from close range after a deflected Youcef Belaïli free kick caused chaos in the penalty area.

However, Algeria somehow found themselves behind again fifteen minutes later. A long ball from Edmond Tapsoba found the run of right winger Issa Kaboré who went down under a challenge from Algeria left back Rayan Aït-Nouri. Another intervention from VAR revealed that Aït-Nouri’s clumsy clearance attempt resulted in a kick on the leg of Kaboré and a penalty kick was awarded. Traoré, just on as a substitute a few minutes earlier, fired in the spot kick to give Burkina Faso the advantage.

It appeared that the strong Burkinabé defense were on course to close the match out but Les Verts finally broke through to take a point. A corner kick service from substitute Adam Ounas was well whipped in and Bounedjah jumped to send a powerful header past Burkina Faso goalkeeper Hervé Koffi that Kaboré could only volley into the roof of his own net as he attempted to clear.

Highlights from the suspenseful match in Bouaké are below.

Match Highlights

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