Africa Cup of Nations: Youssef Msakni hits late Tunisia winner

Youssef Msakni scored a stunning goal in stoppage time to give Tunisia a 1-0 win over Algeria after being outplayed for most of last night’s Africa Cup of Nations Group D match.

Msakni hit a perfectly-struck, curling shot into the top-right corner in the first minute of 
injury time. The result leaves Tunisia level with group leaders Ivory Coast, who also needed a late goal to beat Togo 2-1 earlier .

Algeria had most of the chances at Royal Bafokeng Stadium and striker Islam Slimani hit the crossbar with a header in the 29th minute.

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Defender Mesbah Djamel also had a chance with a low shot that flew just wide in the 56th minute, while a powerful strike by Guedioura Adlane from outside the area went just over the bar in the 70th.

Algeria also had a penalty claim in the 73rd minute when Feghouli Sofiane went down as he broke into the area.

Tunisia relied mostly on counter-attacks and their only significant chance before Msakni’s goal was a close-range shot by striker Harbaoui Hambdi that missed the target.

The game was heading for a sixth draw in the first eight games of the tournament when Msakni struck.

Ivory Coast showed the quality all title-winning teams need with a late winner by Gervinho despite not playing at their best against Togo. The Arsenal forward swept in a Yaya Toure free kick from a tight angle in the 88th minute to snatch victory as the Ivorians began their latest attempt to win the championship for the first time since 1992.

Both teams missed chances to win the game after Yaya Toure put Ivory Coast ahead in the eighth minute and Jonathan Ayite scored Togo’s equaliser just before half-time.

That was the first goal the 
Ivorians had conceded in the finals since 2010 after keeping a clean sheet in every match last year when they drew the final 0-0 with Zambia then lost on penalties.

“We did not play at our best and made some mistakes, but the three points are what mattered and I am very happy about that,” said Ivory Coast’s French coach, Sabri Lamouchi.