Algeria know win over Senegal might not be enough
LIBREVILLE – Algeria are on the brink of elimination from the African Nations Cup knowing that even a victory over the already-qualified Senegal in their final Group B clash on Monday might not be enough to secure passage to the next round.
With Senegal assured of top spot, Algeria need Zimbabwe to beat Tunisia in the other group match being played at the same time to have any chance of making the knockout stage.
“We know very well that there is no great chance,” said coach George Leekens on the eve of the game. “There is a chance to qualify, it does not just depend on us. It depends on others too.”
Algeria have struggled to replicate the form that saw them reach the knockout phase at the last World Cup and have been through four coaching changes since Brazil. They were also eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Nations Cup and made a poor start to 2018 World Cup qualification.
Leekens could be their latest coaching victim if Algeria, who have a single point from two games, are unable to dig themselves out of trouble in Gabon.
Tunisia require only a draw to advance in second place, but if both Algeria and Zimbabwe win on Monday then it will come down to goal difference between the two. Hosts Gabon were eliminated on Sunday as Burkina Faso topped Group A and Cameroon finished second.