The Elephants of Ivory Coast humiliate champions Algeria in Group E
Ivory Coast emerged as Group E winners following a comprehensive and comfortable 3-1 thrashing of champions Algeria in the final match on Thursday.
Nicolas Pepe was the start of the show after the Arsenal star scored one and assisted another in an impressive display from the Elephants.
After a draw and defeat in their opening two matches, the champions went into their last group game condemned to win.
However, it was Cote d'Ivoire who did all the playing and scoring in the match.
Franco Kessie opened the scoring with a subtle finish off a Pepe cutback in the 22nd minute before Ibrahim Sangare doubled their advantage six minutes from halftime.
After the restart, Pepe sealed the game with a beautiful third to extend Ivory Coast's lead to 3-0 nine minutes into the second half
Riyad Mahrez had a chance to pull one back on the hour mark when the referee awarded a penalty, but the Manchester City midfielder missed from 12 yards.
Sofiane Bendebka finally made the scoreline more respectable when he pulled one back for Les Fennecs but it turned out to be nothing but a consolation.
Ivory Coast finished as group winners on seven points, while Algeria's journey ended with the champions rooted to the bottom on just a point.
Elsewhere in the group, Equatorial Guinea had no joy at all as they ended Sierra Leone's hopes and dream Limbe.
The Nzalang Nacional defeated the Leone Stars 1-0 to put an end to their fairy tale run in Cameroon.
Pablo Ganet scored the only goal in the first half to seal the win and three points, while Sierra Leone missed a late penalty through Ansu Kamara.
Kamara's miss ultimately cost his side a place in the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed sides.
The Scorpions of Gambia sting Tunisia's Eagles to make history
History was made in Group F as debutants Gambia qualified for their first-ever AFCON round of 16.
The Scorpions defeated Tunisia 1-0 in their final match of the group stages to write their names in the history book.
Substitute Ablie Jallow was the hero for the Gambians as his 93rd-minute winner ensured passage to the round of 16 following a second-place finish behind group winners, Mali, who qualified with a 2-0 win over Mauritania in the other group match.
The Carthage Eagles could have taken at least a point from that game but missed a first-half penalty through Seifeddine Jaziri and had reserved goalkeeper, Ben Mustapha sent off without kicking a ball for violent conduct.
However, despite all the drama and defeat, the Eagles still made it through to the round of 16 as best losers.