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Algeria draw with Mexico as African heavyweights fail to find form

Last updated 3 months ago | By Reuters

July 19, 2019 Algeria's Riyad Mahrez and team mates celebrate winning the Africa Cup of Nations with the trophy REUTERS

Ten-man Algeria gave up a late equaliser and had to settle for a 2-2 draw in their friendly against Mexico in The Hague on Tuesday on a night of little cheer for some of Africa's heavyweight teams.

Several leading sides were playing friendly internationals in preparation for next month’s resumption of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but there was little for them to enthuse over.

Ismael Bennacer and Riyad Mahrez scored for Algeria but they had to play much of the second half down to 10-men after midfielder Adlene Guedioura was sent off for a second booking.

The African champions came from behind to lead when already at a numerical disadvantage but gave up an 86th-minute equaliser to Diego Lainez.

In Utrecht, Japan's late substitute Naomichi Ueda struck a stoppage-time winner against the Ivory Coast, who had let key attacker Wilfried Zaha return to his club Crystal Palace before the match after an injury scare.

Nigeria took a 21st-minute lead in Sankt Veit an der Glan against Tunisia through Kelechi Iheanacho but Mohamed Drager tapped in for the equaliser just before the interval.

Morocco went ahead against the Democratic Republic of Congo in Rabat through Dutch-born defender Noussair Mazraoui on the stroke of halftime but were stunned by a 60th-minute equaliser for Yoane Wissa with the game ending 1-1.

Veteran Mateus Galiano scored twice as Angola hammered Mozambique 3-0 in Rio Maior, Portugal while Niger were 1-0 home winners over Sierra Leone.

Senegal called off their home friendly against neighbours Mauritania just hours before kick off on Tuesday because of COVID-19 infections in the visitors' camp.

The announcement by the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF)brought to four the number of internationals involving African countries called off over the last two days because of novel coronavirus infections or concerns over infections.

Senegal, already without talisman Sadio Mane who last week tested positive, were due to host the game in Thies.

The FSF statement said that after testing, eight members of the Mauritanian party were found to be positive, forcing the cancellation.

New infections in Mali’s camp led to the cancellation of Tuesday’s friendly against Iran in Antalya, Turkey.

It was called off on Monday after two more infections in the Mali squad added to four positive cases last week.

Gambia’s match against Guinea in Portugal was also called off 24 hours before kick off because of alleged COVID-19 infections in the Guinea camp that left them with just nine players available.

Another planned friendly in Portugal at the weekend between Angola and Guinea Bissau was also cancelled.

The Angolan federation said their Guinea Bissau opponents had not taken tests in time and because the results would only be available after the kick off, the game was cancelled.

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