AFCON Qualifiers (Group F)
Saturday, June 4
*Niger 1-1 Tanzania
*Algeria 2-0 Uganda
Wednesday, June 8
*Uganda Vs Niger – 4pm
*Tanzania Vs Algeria – 7pm
Uganda Cranes started their 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifications campaign on a bad note after they lost 2-0 to Algeria in the Group F opening matchday at the 1962 Stadium in Algiers.
Goals from Aïssa Mandi & Youcef Belaïli ensured that Algeria took maximum points as Uganda struggled to breakthrough.
Algeria, the champions of the 2019 edition of the tournament were sensationally dumped out in the group stages of the 2021 tournament in Cameroon, and were looking for a strong start with pressure reportedly on coach Djamel Belmadi.
Les Verts made a dream start just before the half-hour mark with the contest’s opening goal. Youcef Belaïli picked out Islam Slimani at the back post, his looping header was eventually turned in from close range by Villarreal defender Mandi.
Uganda did have some chances and could have easily found parity just five minutes later from the penalty spot. Farouk Miya stepped up for the visitors but saw his tame effort saved by the outstretched boot of keeper Moustapha Zeghba.
Deep into the second half, Algeria secured all three points thanks to a moment of magic from Youcef Belaïli. The playmaker started his run on the left-wing and beat four players whilst cutting inside and delivering a shot just out of the reach of keeper Charles Lukwago.
Saturday results mean that Uganda are at the rock bottom of Group F with no points whilst Algeria are atop. Niger and Tanzania have a point apiece but are second and third respectively.
Group F sides return to action on Wednesday and Uganda will be at home against Niger whilst Algeria will also be in East Africa as they take on Tanzania.
*Partial credit to beIN Sports