– Mauritania Vs Algeria – Stade de Bouaké
– Angola vs Burkina Faso – Stade Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro
Algeria, the former African champions, stand on the precipice of an unexpected early exit from AFCON 2023.
Their fate hangs in the balance as they face minnows Mauritania in the final Group D showdown on Tuesday, January 30th.
With disappointing back-to-back draws against Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, Djamel Belmadi’s Desert Foxes find themselves behind both Angola and Burkina Faso, who clash simultaneously in the group’s other nail-biting encounter. Only a win will guarantee Algeria’s passage to the Round of 16, leaving them with no room for error.
While Mauritania remain mathematically in contention for a historical first-ever AFCON knockout stage appearance as one of the three best third-placed teams, their two opening defeats paint a bleak picture. However, they could potentially spoil Algeria’s party with a victory, adding drama to the closing act of the group stage.
History heavily favors Algeria, who boast a dominant 5-1 win-draw record against Mauritania, with each of their victories delivering at least three goals. But past achievements count for little in the heat of the moment, and the Desert Foxes will need to channel their firepower and desperation to avoid a shocking upset.