Algeria draw to seal Cup of Nations berth

·2-min read

Algeria qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2022 and will get the chance to defend their title at the rescheduled tournament despite letting a two-goal lead slip in a 2-2 draw with Zimbabwe.

The point was still enough to see the African champions through to the finals in Cameroon, which were meant to be played in January and February 2021 but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Algeria scored twice in four minutes near the end of the first half in Harare through an Andy Delort header from a free kick and Riyad Mahrez's skillful finish.

Knowledge Musona curled in a free kick two minutes before halftime and moments after crashing one against the crossbar to pull one back for Zimbabwe.

Substitute Prince Dube scrambled home an equaliser with eight minutes to go.

Still, Algeria went through with two games to spare after three wins and a draw in the final group stage of qualifying.

They followed hot on the heels of Senegal, who on Sunday were the first team to qualify for the finals.

That means the teams that played in the last African Cup final in Egypt are the first through to the 2022 edition.

Zimbabwe is second in Group H and in position for the group's other qualifying place.

South Africa secured an important 4-2 win over Sao Tome and Principe in Group C even though Bafana Bafana were unconvincing against a team that has lost all four of its group stage qualifiers.

Ghana and South Africa are level on nine points at the top of the group but Ghana have played a game less and will qualify for the finals with a win in Sudan on Tuesday.

Africa will have played seven straight days of qualifiers at the end of the two rounds of matches on Tuesday and it has gone relatively smoothly despite the threat of the virus.