With a 1-0 victory over 2019 champions Algeria, Mauritania produced yet another stunning outcome at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, securing a historic spot in the last-16 at the Stade de la Paix on Tuesday.
After a similar loss in 2021, Algeria’s coach Djamel Belmadi’s team suffered an embarrassing second consecutive early exit when Yali Dellahi’s goal in the first half sent Algeria packing.
Prior to this, Mauritania had never led in any of their eight prior regional finals matches, much less won a game.
With seven points from three games, Angola led Group D.
Burkina Faso, whom they defeated 2-0, came in second with four points.
Mauritania (three) will secure a participation in the knockout round by finishing among the top four teams in third place. Algeria finishes in fourth place (two).
Algeria appear to be a far cry from the team who won the championship in Egypt in 2019.
They started captain Riyad Mahrez on the bench against Mauritania but substituted him at halftime in a last-ditch attempt to turn the tide that ultimately failed.