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Africa Cup o Nations: Angola stop Algeria in Group C stalemate

 Angola's attacking midfielder Freddy (left) in action against Algeria.[CAF]

In a thrilling Group C opener at Bouake's Stade De La Paix in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d'Ivoire 2023, Algeria was held to a 1-1 stalemate by a resilient Angola side, with Cristovao Paciencia playing the role of the hero for the Angolan squad.

The 2019 champions, Algeria, entered the match as favorites and immediately asserted their dominance, pinning Angola into their own half from the outset.

Fares Chaibi and Youcef Belaili spearheaded Algeria's early attacking efforts, with Chaibi narrowly missing a volleyed effort in the 6th minute and Belaili's powerful strike being deftly saved by Angola's Adilson Cipriano.

Algeria's relentless attacks paid off when a lobbed ball from the back found Baghdad Bounedjah in the 26th minute, and the 2019 title hero calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner, giving Algeria the lead.

After the halftime break, Angola adjusted their game plan, focusing on getting balls into the danger area. This tactic proved effective in the 68th minute when substitute Cristovao Paciencia was fouled in the box by Nabil Bentaleb. Paciencia stepped up and converted the penalty, rescuing a crucial point for Angola.

The evenly contested encounter unfolded in front of an enthusiastic Stade De La Paix crowd, and both teams ultimately shared the spoils. Algeria's next challenge awaits them in a clash against Burkina Faso on Saturday at 14:00, while Angola prepares for a matchup against Mauritania in the 20:00 kick-off. The draw sets an intriguing tone for both teams as they navigate the demanding Group C fixtures in the quest for AFCON glory.

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