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AFCON 2023 Group D: Algeria crashes out at the hands of Mauritania; Angola secure top spot

The experts continued to be confounded with yet another twist in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday. Algeria have been eliminated at the group stage for the second consecutive AFCON after Les Verts fell to Mauritania, who earned the first win in their history at the competition with a 1-0 result on the final day of action from Group D. Yali Dellahi scored the only goal of the match to help Les Mourabitounes advance to the knockout stage in a stunning result that might be the most surprising of all the notable upsets so far. In the other match played simultaneously, Angola defeated Burkina Faso 2-0 to secure first place in the group while Burkina Faso settle for the runner-up position.

After two draws to begin their campaign, nobody thought Algeria could possibly be eliminated in Bouaké with a defeat except for the members of the Mauritanian team and coach Amir Abdou. Algeria dominated possession but the underdogs showed their worth and took their opportunity in the 37th minute. A corner kick was cleared out by the Algerian defense to the edge of the penalty area and a hopeful shot attempt ricocheted off defender Mohamed Amine Tougaï to Dellahi who bounced his shot by Les Verts goalkeeper Anthony Mandrea.

Algeria pushed furiously for a leveler that would have been just enough to send them through to the Round of 16 but it was not their day. Mauritania goalkeeper Babacar Niasse came up huge in an inspired effort, notably denying Algeria defender Aïssa Mandi from close range in the 69th minute before spilling a shot in stoppage time where striker Baghdad Bounedjah failed to put his follow up attempt on goal. Mauritania are through to the Round of 16 for the first time in their history as one of the four third placed teams with the result while Algeria are eliminated.

In the other match played in the Ivorian capital of Yamoussoukro, Angola completed their own stellar group stage finish with a 2-0 victory over the Stallions of Burkina Faso. Striker Mabululu headed in a free kick service from the right wing delivered by captain Fredy to put the Palancas Negras ahead by halftime. Zini finished from a rebound in second half stoppage time after Burkinabé goalkeeper Hervé Koffi spilled an initial shot attempt into the path of the substitute forward.

Highlights from both matches in Group D are below.

Mauritania 1-0 Algeria

Angola 2-0 Burkina Faso

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