ALGIERS, Algeria – Zimbabwe had a torrid night in Algiers on Thursday as Algeria cemented their lead at the top of Group H of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Baghdad Bounedjah swept home after Elvis Chipezeze parried a shot from range after 30 minutes before Sofiane Feghouli nodded in Riyad Mahrez’s cross three minutes before the break.
If Chipezeze was culpable for the first, Zimbabwe’s central defenders gifted Algeria the second as Feghouli wandered into the penalty box virtually unmarked.
Chipezeze departed injured at the start of the second half and was replaced by Talbert Shumba.
There was nothing Shumba could have done after Mahrez waltzed his way past three defenders and lofted the ball into the net on 67 minutes, killing the match as a contest.
Zimbabwe scored a face saver on 78 minutes as Tino Kadewere beat the offside trap and found the target with a deft chipped finish.
Having started slowly, Zimbabwe had the first clear opening when Knowledge Musona found Kadewere with a fine cross after 17 minutes, but the Lyon striker headed over with the goal at his mercy.
Before Mahrez got Algeria’s third, Kadewere had another chance to reduce the arrears for Zimbabwe when he found himself clear on goal but Raïs M’Bolhi thwarted him.
The win lifted unbeaten Algeria to nine points, trailed by Zimbabwe on four, Zambia on three and Botswana on one.
Algeria travel to Harare this weekend for the reverse fixture on Monday – ZimLIve