Tunisia bounced back in Group B when they beat Algeria 2-1 in their 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations tie at Stade de Franceville yesterday.
Two goals courtesy of a penalty by Naim Sliti and an own goal from Tunisian skipper Naim Mandii handed the Carthage Eagles the deserved win.
On the other hand, the Desert warriors managed to bag a consolation strike through substitute Sofianne Hanni when he finished neatly in the box in injury time.
The victory elevates the Tunisians to the second spot in the group with three points after their 2-0 loss to Senegal in their opener.
It was a typical North African derby and it started with a high intensity, with both sides chasing an early goal, but it was the Desert Warriors who threatened first.
After taking the game to the Carthage Eagles, Algeria received a set piece, but Yacine Brahimi saw his effort tipped over the cross bar by Aymen Mathlouthi inside the first five minutes.
Mathlouthi became the busier of the two goalkeepers when he was called to stop Adlene Guedioura’s powerful shot away from the d-line in the 11th minute.
In the 20th minute, Henryk Kasperczak’s men received a corner, but Youssef Msakni’s touch was not enough to put the ball in across the face of the goal, whilst Ahmed Akaichi arrived late on the far post.
A few minutes later, Riyad Mahrez was also put through in the box, but the Leicester City man saw his effort punched away from danger by Mathlouthi.
Despite dishing out good football, both sides went to the tunnel deadlocked at 0-0.
With just five minutes played of the second half, a wonderful run by Msakni into the box saw skipper Mandi conceding an own goal to give Tunisia the lead.
However, 14 minutes later, Tunisia were given a penalty when Faouzi Ghoulam fouled Wahbi Khazri in the box and Sliti converted from the spot, doubling their lead to 2-0.
Despite getting a number of chances to break the deadlock, it was substitute Hanni who pulled one for the Fennecs in the injury time.
In the end, Tunisia managed to protect the lead and walked away with the full three points.
Resulting from the loss, George Leekens’ men occupy the bottom of the standings with one point and will now hope to win against the Lions of Teranga on Monday, 23 January.