Tanzania held hosts Algeria 0-0 at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba on Thursday night to secure qualification for the next Africa Cup of Nations.
The Taifa Stars needed a draw or better to guarantee a ticket to the continental finals in Ivory Coast next year and a dogged, determined performance saw them hold the Desert Foxes to a stalemate and ensure a return to the Nations Cup for the first time since 2019 and a third appearance overall.
The other Group F result, from the Marrakesh Stadium in Morocco, saw Uganda defeat Niger, though their victory was in vain thanks to Tanzania’s efforts.
Algeria started the sharper of the two teams and created early sights of goal for Fares Chaibi and Aymen Mahious, though neither was able to trouble Tanzania goalkeeper Benno Kakolanya.
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In fact, the Taifa Stars had the first notable effort on target midway through the first half, with Mzamiru Yassin forcing a sharp save from Algeria goalkeeper Anthony Mandrea.
The East Africans offered a sporadic threat on the break, but the Desert Foxes enjoyed the majority of possession and generally controlled proceedings.
The hosts were close to an opening goal shortly after the half-hour mark when Chaibi sent an effort just wide of the mark.
Within the opening 15 minutes of the second half, Algeria had further near misses via Chaibi, Badredine Bouanani, and Himad Abdelli, as they continued to press for an opening goal.
On 65 minutes the hosts had their best chance yet, with Abdelli meeting a cross from the left flank but missing the target with a free header.
The midfielder was soon sacrificed as one of three players withdrawn to make way for the heavy attacking artillery of Riyad Mahrez, Said Benrahma, and Mohamed Amoura. Hicham Boudaoui and Ramiz Zerrouki followed soon after.
Yet the next major attacking highlight came from Tanzania, with Novatus Miroshi’s free-kick almost headed into his own net by Zerrouki in the 81st minute.
Algeria mounted a late push to try and secure a sixth successive win in the qualifiers, but their efforts were rebuffed by a determined Tanzania, who celebrated joyously at the final whistle.
ALGERIA: Mandrea, Mandi, Ait Nouri, Tougai, Chaibi, Bouanani (Mahrez 68’), Mahious (Amoura 69’), Van Den Kerkhof, Kadri (Boudaoui 71’), Abdelli (Benrahma 68’), Zorgane (Zerrouki 71’)
TANZANIA: Kakolanya, Mnoga, Hamad, Dickson, Mwamnyeto, Kibu, Msuva (Bocco 90+3’), Bajana, Yassin, Mzize (Suleiman 54’ [Mikami 75’]), Miroshi