Mahious strikes again as hosts Algeria reach CHAN quarter-finals

Mokhtar Belkhither of Algeria challenges Mesud Mohammed of Ethiopia. PHOTO | COURTESY

Summary

  • Backed by a passionate 40,000 crowd at the Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers, the hosts won the match thanks a 52nd-minute goal from the forward.

Algiers. Aymen Mahious became the match-winner for Algeria in successive African Nations Championship (CHAN) matches when they beat Ethiopia 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals. 

Backed by a passionate 40,000 crowd at the Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers, the hosts won the match thanks a 52nd-minute goal from the forward.

Ethiopia neglected to mark Mahious at a corner, and he controlled the ball with his chest before poking it into the net off the hands of goalkeeper Fasil Gebremichael.

Mahious scored the only goal last Friday, from a penalty, when Algeria beat Libya in the opening match of a tournament confined to footballers playing for clubs in their country of birth.

A couple of victories gave Algeria six points in Group A, followed by Mozambique with four, Ethiopia with one while Libya are pointless.

Mozambique scored three times in 10 minutes as they came from behind to edge Libya 3-2 in the first match of a double-header.

In the final Group A matches on Saturday, Algeria will play Mozambique in Algiers while Ethiopia take on Libya in the eastern coastal city of Annaba.

It was another efficient performance by title favourites Algeria, who finished fourth in their only previous CHAN appearance 12 years ago.

"I prefer to be efficient than to play well," said coach and former national team captain Madjid Bougherra. 

"I am in charge of a hard-working team of winners."

Bougherra revealed at a press conference ahead of the Ethiopia match that he asked his players to avoid social media before and after matches. 

"I want them to maintain their concentration so it is best they avoid social media the day before each match," he said.   

"This should also be the case after matches because it takes a lot of energy looking at the photos and videos,"

Mozambique conceded an own goal to trail Libya at half-time, then turned the match around as Melque Alexandre, Feliciano Jone and Pachoio Lau Ha King netted from the 74th minute.

Anis Saltou grabbed a late consolation goal for former champions Libya, who became the first of the 17 teams in Algeria to be eliminated.