Algeria get ready to take on Mauritania in their third and final Group D match that takes place at the Stade Bouake Stadium. The Desert Foxes must see this as a must win fixture if they aim to qualify as one of the best third placed sides and avoid a second consecutive group stage exit.

To win (90 min)
Mauritania 8/1
Draw 31/10
Algeria 7/20


Mauritania, who are 105th in World Rankings, head into Tuesday’s final Group D clash with Algeria as one of three sides yet to register a point at the tournament. Indeed, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau are in the same boat as The Lions of Chinguetti. 

Amir Abdou’s men look to be on the brink of yet another AFCON group stage exit after they fell to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Angolan’s last Saturday. Despite the huge efforts from Sidi Amar Bouna and Aboubakary Koita, two goals from Gelson Dala and Gilberto’s second half strike saw Angola move top of Group D and extend Mauritania’s dire AFCON record. Mauritania have now failed to register a single victory from any of their eight matches at AFCON, with two draws and losing six – including five straight defeats in their last five outings.

Furthermore, Mauritania have gone seven straight AFCON matches without finding the back of the net, a run stretching back to their debut game in June 2019. The Lions of Chinguetti cannot secure automatic qualification to the knockout stages, but if they show up and pick up maximum points against Algeria, it will see them finish as the best third placed nation. With that being said, their chances do look slim given their -2 goal difference.


Algeria have had a rather unflattering start to their AFCON campaign after two draws from their opening two fixtures. Having suffered a group-stage exit in Cameroon two years ago, Algeria find themselves in familiar territory and under pressure to avoid back-to-back group-stage exits for the first time in history.

Having picked up two points from the first six available, the North Africans, who are now unbeaten in their last 14 matches across all competitions, head into Tuesday’s crunch tie knowing victory will ensure a passage to the knockout stages, given Angola’s negative goal difference. Algeria will be backing themselves to get the desired results as they take on a Mauritania side who have failed to win their last six matches in all competitions, losing four and picking up two draws since a 2-1 friendly victory over Madagascar in October.

Baghdad Bounedjah has been the talismanic figure for the North African giants and has carried the weight of Algeria’s scoring responsibilities at these AFCON finals. Bounedjah has not only scored Algeria’s three goals at the tournament but has 16 goal involvements in his last 15 matches for club and country. Former treble winner (Manchester City) Riyad Mahrez has had an uncharacteristically quiet tournament by his standards but never rule him out as he is capable of creating scoring opportunities at any given time with his unbelievable skill and close ball control.

Prediction: Algeria

Algeria have it all to do as they go for maximum points against a Mauritania side that looks far more inferior to the North African giants. It will take more than just individual brilliance, but I see Algeria claiming the victory on the day.

Written Marc Strydom