Zimbabwe produced a sterling performance coming from a goal down to draw 2-2 against a highly rated Algeria in the opening match of Group B at AFCON 2017.
The Warriors will rue missed chances and this will go as 2 points lost than a point gained taking in consideration the chances that came their way.
Africa’s best player Mahrez who scooped the man of the match award scored a brace while Zimbabwe’s goals came from Kuda Mahachi and Nyasha Mushekwi from the penalty spot.
The game started on a high tempo with both teams trading blows. Khama Billiat proved to World stage what a player he is as early as the 8th minute forcing a save after a powerful shot from inside the box.
Billiat was to return back seconds later hitting the upright from a volley.
However it was Mahrez who opened the scoring in the 12th minute having been given lots of space inside the box to curl it around Mukuruva showing the class he is made of.
The Warriors equalized just 4 minutes after a great one two between Mahachi and Danny Phiri, ending on the foot of Mahachi who clamly beat Mbohli from the edge of the box.
TWo minutes later Billiat could have easily nodded Zimbabwe ahead but his shot at goal after being teed off inside the box by Mushekwi was well saved by Bohli who literally kept the Algerians in the game.
Zimbabwe was to nod ahead in the 23rd minute from the penalty spot converted by Nyasha Mushekwi after Bhasera was brought down inside the box.
Zimbabwe went nto the break leading 2-1.
The Warriors came back from the break with intent to score more goals but lost steam as the game went on.
Billiat could have extended Zimbabwe’s lead in the 54th minute have turned Aissa Mandi inside out before his shot at near post was well saved by Bohli.
The algerians took charge of the game but were let down by striker Slimani who kept missing chance after chance.
The algerians best chance to lead came off the header of Bensebaini who hit the crossbar with Mukuruva well beaten.
Zimbabwe could have wrapped up the game with 10 minutes left of play after substitute Cuthbert Malajila stole the ball away from Mandi only to force a save off Bohli on a one on one situation.
Seconds later Zimbabwe were punished as Mahrez scored from outside the box to equalise for the Algerians.
Eventually the match ended 2-2 with no team yet to register a win of the 3 matches played at the tournament so far.