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Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Monday, 18 January 2010

Angola 0-0 Algeria

By Nick Cavell

Algeria's Madjid Bougherra and Angola's Ze Kalanga battle for the ball
Madjid Bougherra and Ze Kalanga had the best chances of the first half

A goalless draw in Luanda was enough to see hosts Angola and World Cup-bound Algeria through to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Angola finished top of Group A while Algeria took second thanks to their win over Mali earlier in the tournament.

Algeria's best chances came from Madjid Bougherra, with a weak close-range effort, and Karim Matmour, who failed to connect in front of an open goal.

A Ze Kalanga free-kick tipped over the bar was the hosts' best chance.

The draw was enough for Angola to win the group with five points, Algeria and Mali finished level on four points and Malawi were bottom on three.

Under the tournament regulations the head-to-head record between Algeria and Mali was used to decide who advances rather than goal difference - which would have seen the Eagles go through.

It was a cagey opening from both sides with very few chances in the opening 15 minutes.

Angola eventually managed to exert some pressure on the Algerian goal and Mabina's long range effort from the left-hand side of the area curled just over the bar.

Algeria's first chance was when Nadir Belhadj's free-kick found its way to Madjid Bougherra whose weak shot from just two yards out was saved by Carlos Fernandes in the Angolan goal.

Angola goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes
Algeria were unable to find a way past Angola goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes

Ze Kalanga had the Palancas Negras' first shot on target when his free-kick from outside the area was tipped over the bar by Fawzi Chaouchi in the Algerian goal.

The game then fell into a midfield stalemate until moments before half-time when Djalma could only manage a weak effort after Ze Kalanga pulled the ball back to him.

Moments after half-time Algeria's Karim Matmour failed to get a touch on a Bouazza cross when he was just two yards out and in front of an open goal.

Bouazza himself then saw his shot, which he flicked over Fernandes' head, bounce across the front of the goal and go wide.

Both sides them seemed ready to settle for a draw as the ball got stuck in midfield and neither side created any clear chances.

Angola had the final opportunity of the match when Jamuana's free kick curled round the wall and almost found its way through Chaouchi's legs.

The Nations Cup hosts Angola will now play the runners-up from Group B while Algeria face the winners of that group, both those games are on Sunday.

The Palancas Negras coach Manuel Jose is not too worried about who he faces in the quarter-finals.

"We knew a draw would be enough, so we managed to get our result," he said.

"In the next round, we are ready to play any team."

Algeria's coach Rabaah Sadaane felt his side had done enough to win the game.

"Although it was a difficult game, we also missed a lot of chances," he said.

"The most important thing is we have qualified."

Angola: Carlos Fernandes, Rui Marques, Kali, Zuela (Caires 53), Jamuana, Xara, Mabina, Djalma, Gilberto, Ze Kalanga (Job 64), Manucho (Johnson 90)

Subs Not Used: Lama, Magalhaes, Mantorras, Flavio, Alegre

Algeria: Chaouchi, Laifaoui, Bougherra, Halliche, Belhadj, Yebda, Mansouri, Ziani, Matmour (Abdoun 89), Bouazza (Meghni 67), Ghezzal

Subs Not Used: Zemmamouche, Yahia, Raho, Babouche, Zaoui, Ziaya

Booked: Matmour, Laifaoui.

Att: 40,000

Ref: Jerome Damon (South Africa)

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see also
Mali 3-1 Malawi
18 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 2-0 Malawi
14 Jan 10 |  African
Mali 0-1 Algeria
14 Jan 10 |  African
Malawi 3-0 Algeria
11 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 4-4 Mali
10 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
07 Jan 10 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations tables
07 Jan 10 |  African

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