19
Tue, Jan

Mahrez (7) scores as Algeria grab 2-0 win over Kenya

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Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez scored as Algeria moved level with Senegal at the top of Africa Cup of Nations Group C with a win over Kenya.

Baghdad Bounedjah converted from the penalty spot after 34 minutes in Cairo following a clear foul on Youcef Atal.

Mahrez then doubled the advantage with a deflected shot from Ismael Bennacer's cut-back two minutes before half-time.

Algeria join Senegal on three points, after Aliou Cisse's side defeated Tanzania 2-0 earlier on Sunday.

Algeria, attempting to win the tournament for the first time since 1990, were worthy winners against a Kenya side making their first Africa Cup of Nations appearance since 2004.

Baghdad Bounedjah twice went close as an assured Algeria dominated the opening exchanges and Youcef Belaili shot straight at Kenya goalkeeper Patrick Matasi when played through on goal by Sofiane Feghouli.

They broke Kenya's resistance as Dennis Odhiambo carelessly brought down Atal, before captain Mahrez added the second.

Kenya, led by Tottenham midfielder Victor Wanyama, produced an improved second-half display but failed to land a shot on target as Aissa Mandi recovered to block Michael Olunga's effort late on.

Algeria now face Senegal in a battle for top spot on Thursday (18:00 BST), while Kenya take on Tanzania later that day (21:00 BST).

Analysis
by BBC Sport's John Bennett in Cairo:

Some of the other highly rated teams at this Africa Cup of Nations have looked unconvincing in their opening matches but there was no rustiness from Algeria; in fact, this was a real statement to start the tournament.

With good intensity, a positive approach and plenty of attacking ideas, they were able to take their foot off the gas after the break following the two deserved goals in the first half.

Riyad Mahrez, the team's new leader, looked very comfortable wearing the captain's armband and will be full of confidence with a goal to his name already.

Algeria brought a big contingent of fans to Cairo so it would have felt like a "home" atmosphere for Mahrez and his team-mates.

They will feel as though they can go a long way here in Egypt.

 

Source: bbc.co.uk

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