Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez scored a double that earned his side Algeria a point during their duel against Zimbabwe in the ongoing African Nations’ Cup in Gabon.
The talented forward scored a curling shot to send the North African side ahead but Zimbabwe forced an equalizer through Kudakwashe Mahachi. Mahachi sent a low drive into the corner but it was enough to threaten the Algerian set-up who were touted to win the game.
Zimbabwe remained resilient and it paid off when the referee awarded a penalty in their favour. Nyasha Mushekwi converted the spot kick to give the underdogs the edge in the keenly-fought match. The victory seemed sure for Zimbabwe but they could not hold off Algeria who equalized through same Mahrez in the 82nd minute.
Before the Premier League star scored Algeria had hit the wood work twice. Many analysts blamed the Zimbabwe goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva for not doing enough to save the goal. Zimbabwe wanted to claim a big and important win, having not played at the finals for over a decade. Truly, Mukuruva could have done more to save that speculative attempt from Mahrez but the pressure was almost sure to produce fruits sooner or later.
Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbholi also stopped attempts on target at the other end. Khama Billiat almost scored for the Warriors but Mbholi limited his chances. The keeper thwarted efforts from Cuthbert Malajila as well in the Match B opener. Zimbabwe led 2-1 then and scoring a third would have significantly impacted the game as Algeria improved their play largely after the break.
The Desert Foxes would be glad they were able to force a draw at the end of the encounter but their opponents would surely be the more happy side. Algeria star-studded team would need serious work if they want to go far in this tournament, going by their display so far.