Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations title defence hangs in the balance following a 1-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea.
Esteban Obiang struck 20 minutes from time at Stade omnisport de Douala to lift the National Thunder to second place in Group E.
The result also condemned Algeria to a first defeat in this competition since a 2-1 reverse against Tunisia in 2017, while they must now beat Ivory Coast in their final group game to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
Despite only enjoying 33 per cent of the possession, Equatorial Guinea had the better first-half chances. Oscar Siafa drew a smart save out of Rais M’Bolhi, while Iban Salvador’s rasping long-range drive was just wide of the target.
Algeria had the ball in the net at the other end, but Baghdad Bounedjah was denied by the offside flag.
DRAMA#TeamEquatorialGuinea take the lead against the reigning champions in Duoala
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 (@CAF_Online) January 16, 2022
The Desert Warriors continued to dominate possession, but were hit by a 70th-minute sucker punch as a low corner was flicked on by Josete Miranda, before Obiang applied the finishing touch at the far post.
Algeria pushed for the equaliser as the clock ticked down, but were unable to preserve their nine-match unbeaten run at the Africa Cup of Nations and are still seeking their first goal in this year’s event.