Afcon Results: Zimbabwe Warriors in 2-2 draw thriller with Algeria

Zimbabwe's players were in high spirits after the underdogs took the lead in Franceville

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez will play his first match since being named African Footballer of the Year when Algeria take on Zimbabwe in Franceville at the African Nations Cup on Sunday.

Mahrez continued to torment the Zimbabwe defence in the second half, while at the other end Billiat's trickery left Aissa Mandi in a heap on the floor before his shot from close range forced M'Bolhi into a superb one-handed save.

It was the third stalemate in the competition.

On the opening day of the tournament in Libreville on Saturday, Guinea Bissau stunned hosts Gabon with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw before Burkina Faso came from behind to hold Cameroon to another 1-1 tie.

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"We clearly know we are in a tough group that includes the likes of Algeria and Senegal", said Pasuwa.

Mahrez gave Algeria a 13th-minute lead with his left-foot curler from just inside the area but Kuda Mahachi made it 1-1 just four minutes after Mahrez's opening goal, and Nyasha Mushekwi's penalty on 30 minutes put Zimbabwe ahead.

Zimbabwe triumphed in their last AFCON meeting with Algeria, and Georges Leekens is eager to avoid a repeat in this year's tournament.

Zimbabwe, making their first appearance at the finals since 2006, will perhaps count themselves a little unlucky after playing some excellent football.

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Group B rivals Tunisia and Senegal kick off their encounter at 7pm Irish time.

Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani who play with Premier League champions Leicester City in England, as well as Yacine Brahimi are three of the key players for Algeria, which start as favourite to secure the three points.

"The first game is always hard".

Ivory Coast has much to deal with in Oyem when it opens Group C against Togo on Monday, including the threat of another upset by Togo and also a hastily built stadium and a newly laid field, both of which appear to have lost their races against time to be fully ready for the African Cup.

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The winners of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 will represent the continent at the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.


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