Belaili, Mahrez star as Algeria outclass Guinea

CAIRO: Superbly-taken goals from Algeria’s Youcef Belaili and Riyad Mahrez set them on the way to a 3-0 win over Guinea on Sunday and a place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals, reaffirming their status as one of the favourites. While the previous five last-16 ties had produced a heady mixture of shocks, drama and comebacks, Sunday’s match was straightforward as Algeria, yet to concede a goal at the tournament, won their fourth straight match. Belaili broke the deadlock after playing a one-two with Baghdad Bounedjah in the 24th minute and Mahrez, following some sublime control, lashed home the second just before the hour.
Substitute Adam Ounas added the third on the break in the 82nd minute, making him joint tournament top-scorer with three goals alongside Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo. Algeria, whose one previous title came in 1990, will face either Ivory Coast or Mali in the quarterfinals, and coach Djamel Belmadi was not worried about their favourites tag. “It doesn’t cost anything to believe in ourselves. We said from the very beginning we were here to win,” he told reporters. — Reuters