Reigning African champions Algeria extended their unbeaten run to 24 games, as they finished their Group H campaign of the Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with an emphatic home 5-0 win over Botswana on Sunday.
Les Fennecs concluded the qualifiers the same way they opened it, having beaten Zambia with the same result in the opening matchday. They dominated the whole 90 minutes against Botswana, already eliminated before the game.
In the first half, the 2019 champions missed a handful of chances, yet they finished it leading with Mehdi Zeffane’s goal. The right back took advantage of a rebound ball from Botswana goalkeeper to open the scoring.
After the break, Djamel Belmadi made several changes fielding in regular faces of Youcef Belaili and Baghdad Bounedjah. After 57 minutes Sofiane Feghouli headed home from skipper Riyad Mahrez cross to double the hosts’ lead.
Mahrez turned from provider to scorer when he added the third from the spot at the 64th minute. An eight minutes later, Bounedjah found his way round two defenders to make it 4-0.
Two minutes from the final whistle, Farid Boulaya put the cherry on top of Algeria’s cake to see his side finishing the road on way to defend their title next year in grand style.
In the other group match, Zambia finished their campaign with a consolation, beating their neighbors and already qualified Zimbabwe 2-0 in Harare. Patson Daka scored for Chipolopolo in either half. He broke the deadlock after 21 minutes, before completing his brace two minutes into second half’s injury time.
Algeria finished Group H with on top with 14 points, ahead of qualified Zimbabwe (8), Zambia (7) and Botswana (4).