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Rio 2016: Algeria beaten by Honduras in thrilling opening Group D match
The Algerian Olympic team were edged by Honduras 3-2 as they lost the opening game of Group D in Rio de Janeiro.
Both teams looked to deny the other from scoring early and that meant for a nervous opening 10 minutes of the game. It was the the North Africans who threatened to break the deadlock first, Bounedjah showed great feet but his shot was just wide of the target.
Honduras had their first chance too, the only difference is they hit the back of the net with it. Lozano did brilliantly to turn his defender before his shot was saved by youngster Farid Chaal, only for Quito to follow up and give Honduras the lead.
One was soon two not long after when set piece side Honduras made use of their aerial ability. Alvarez’s floated ball found defender Marcelo Pereira who’s header hit of the crossbar and in to give Honduras a much deserved two-goal lead at half-time.
The Algerians, who struggled to create much in the first half needed to come out strong in the second, and that is exactly what they did.
It was that man Bounedjah again who showed the way for Algeria flashing a shot just wide, after receiving a great through pass by Benkablia. Algeria’s attempts to get back into the game finally came good with 20 minutes to play, and it was unsurprisingly those two players who combined for the goal. Bounedjah’s flick-on found Benkablia who headed home to give Algeria hope.
Despite this, Honduras scored against the run of play; Algerian keeper Chaal, who looked clumsy during the game could not handle a straightforward cross and Lozano tapped it in to restore Honduras’ two-goal lead.
Algerian striker Bounedjah had looked threatening all game and things looked to not go for him, that was until the 85th minute. His brilliant control and finish from a dangerous cross allowed the Algerians to chase a draw in the final minutes of the game. However, despite their domination of the second half, the North Africans couldn’t force an equaliser.
The win gives Honduras a boost to qualify from Group D as they gained three valuable points, whilst the defeat means Algeria are already on the back foot in their quest for Olympic glory. Both teams have tough tasks in their next games, Honduras play Portugal on Sunday afternoon whilst Algeria play tournament specialists Argentina later that day.