AFCON 2021: Algeria lose 35-match unbeaten run in shock 1-0 defeat to Equatorial Guinea

Esteban Orozco scored the all-important goal that condemned the defending champions to their first loss since October 2018

Equatorial Guinea ended reigning champions Algeria's unbeaten run after 35 games

The Les Fennecs of Algeria fell to the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in the fourth game of Group E at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Beyond losing all three points in the game, of more significance was the Algerians losing an impressive 35 match unbeaten streak with the loss to Equatorial Guinea.

This means the defending champions have picked up only one point from their first two games and now sit bottom of Group E.

Djamel Belmadi's side started the match as the dominant side, controlling the tempo whilst trying to get behind the Equatorial Guinean defence.

For much of their industry, the African champions lacked concrete ideas in attack as they failed to break down the resolute defense put up by their opponents.

The Foxes of Algeria did put the ball in the back of the net in the 22nd minute but the assistant referee was quick to rule it out for offside in the build-up.

Juan Micha's Equatorial Guinea side got forward on occasion, testing Rais M'bolhi in the Algerian post twice in quick succession before the end of the half with Iban Edu hitting the upright in the 38th minute.

Baghdad Bounedjah had a penalty appeal turned down in the 43rd minute, the centre referee insisting that the veteran striker was fouled at the edge of the box rather than in it.

The second half brought more of the same thing as Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, and Yacine Brahimi all took turns to break the deadlock but to no avail.

The only goal of the game would come in the 70th minute and to the less-fancied side as Equatorial Guinea took a shock lead.

Esteban Orozco was the quickest to react to a loose ball from an Equatorial Guinea corner-kick, the centre-back smashing home the ball to give his side the lead.

What followed was a siege on the Equatorial Guinea post but the Central African side put up a valiant defensive effort to keep the Champions at bay.

Despite posting 69% ball possession and 11 shots, Algeria was unable to make it count as Equatorial Guinea held on for a memorable win.

The defending champions must defeat Ivory Coast in their last group game on Thursday, January 20, and hope that Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone play a draw in the other group game.

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