Senegal 0-1 Algeria: 3 Reasons why the Teranga Lions lost | African Cup of Nations 2019

Belaili scored the solitary goal for Algeria.
Belaili scored the solitary goal for Algeria.
Nnanna Mba

In the 48th minute of a thrilling encounter between Senegal and Algeria, Mohamed Youcef Belaili scored the only goal, to send the Desert Foxes into the knockout stages of the competition. It could be called bad luck, or perhaps fate, but Senegal failed to beat their North African counterparts in a difficult game that ended 1-0 to Algeria.

Senegal was rather frustrated, most especially Sadio Mane, who appealed strongly for a penalty to no avail.

While they can point fingers at the referee and cry about it, the Lions failed to be clinical when it mattered most. Diagne, to the shock of his teammates and the fans, missed a goal that should have been Senegal's way into the game.

Algeria had two close calls in the first 45 minutes of the game but the Sengalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was there to save his team.

Belaili's dangerous freekick in the 17th minute would have been a goal without Mendy's save. Baghdad Bounedjah also got in a close shot near the end of the first half that Mendy parried wide.

Only minutes into the second half, the Algerian team drove forward in a fast attack that ended up with Belaili's powerful shot hitting the back of the net.

Senegal pressured an unmoving Algerian defence and were unable to break through. Sadio Mane was challenged by two opponents, but his call for a penalty was ignored.

The 33-year-old Algeria goalkeeper, M'Bohli, maintained his rock solid defence between the sticks and kept out M'Baye Niang's shot at goal.

In the dying minutes of the game, Mane's final chance to equalize was a header that went over the bar.

We take a look at three reasons why Senegal were unable beat Algeria.

#3 Failure to convert shots into goals

A wasted opportunity
A wasted opportunity

Senegal had eleven shots on goal but only two were on target. Unsurprisingly, they didn't score any. Only four of those shots came from open play, with seven coming from set pieces. Although the Lions won 65% of the aerial duels they couldn't convert any of those set-piece chances into goals.

Notably, Algeria had only eight shots on goal with two on target. Algeria's 12% goal conversion is all that gave them the three points and successfully carried them into the round of 16. If Senegal converted better, it might have been a different story.

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Edited by Alan John

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