Algeria beats Zambia 1-0 to move top of WCup group Posted 1h 22m ago | Comment | Recommend E-mail | Save | Print |
BLIDA, Algeria (AP) — Rafik Saifi scored in the second half as Algeria beat Zambia 1-0 to move top of Group C and stay on course to qualify for next year's World Cup. The former Lorient striker ran onto Karim Matmour's cross from the right in the 59th minute and volleyed confidently past Zambia keeper Kennedy Mweene. It was Saifi's 18th goal in 52 internationals.
Algeria has 10 points from four games, three more than Egypt. Zambia has four points, and Rwanda is last with one.
Only the top team in each of the continent's five qualifying groups will play in South Africa next year.
Zambia's best chance in a patchy first half came when Maritzburg United striker Noah Chivuta's shot went just wide in the 10th minute.
Algeria struggled to get the better of Zambia's gritty midfield and create a scoring chance until winger Karim Ziani found space in the 53rd minute but his shot sailed wide.
Zambia twice went close to scoring in the closing stages with Chivuta and FC Utrecht's Jacob Mulenga both causing problems, but Algeria held on to secure a vital win at the Mustapha Tchaker stadium.
Algeria has not qualified for the World Cup since 1986, but now looks odds on to play in South Africa next year.