Afcon holders Algeria held by resilient Sierra Leone in surprise draw | Africa Cup of Nations 2022

The defending champions Algeria missed a series of chances, to the growing fury of coach Djamel Belmadi on the sidelines, and drew 0-0 with minnows Sierra Leone in a surprise result at the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday.

Sierra Leone are playing in their first Cup of Nations since 1996 and only their third ever, and came up against an Algeria team unbeaten since 2018.

But Algeria found no way past the Sierra Leone goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara, who celebrated the result of the Group E game at Japoma Stadium in Douala as if it was a win. Sierra Leone squad players sprinted from the bench on to the field at the end to join the celebrations.

Algeria had countless opportunities to win. Yacine Brahimi hit two shots straight at Kamara in quick succession at the start of the second half. The substitute Sofiane Bendebka failed to get his effort on target with Kamara out of position after making a save. And Riyad Mahrez was denied when Kamara got his fingertips to a low shot that was destined for the bottom corner.

When the striker Baghdad Bounedjah, another substitute, headed weakly and straight at Kamara in the final act of the game deep in injury time, a frustrated Belmadi fell to his knees on the touchline and smashed his hands on the ground.

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