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Captain Riyad Mahrez celebrates after Algeria defeated Senegal in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final in Cairo. © AFP Giuseppe CACACE

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Mahrez scores magnificent goal as Algeria qualify for Africa Cup of Nations

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 16 – Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez scored as title-holders Algeria drew 2-2 in Zimbabwe Monday and became the third country to book a place at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Cameroon qualify automatically as hosts and Senegal secured a spot Sunday by winning in Guinea-Bissau thanks to a Sadio Mane goal.

Andy Delort and captain Mahrez gave the Desert Foxes a two-goal advantage in Harare that was halved just before half-time when Knowledge Musona netted.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi took off Delort and Mahrez as he made five second-half substitutions within 12 minutes, but the bold move backfired when Prince Dube equalised eight minutes from time.

Drawing ended the perfect three-win record Algeria took into a match played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus, but it guaranteed them a top-two finish in a section including Zambia and Botswana.

Who joins the defending champions in Cameroon from Group H will probably be decided in the final round next March when Zimbabwe host Zambia.

Uganda lost 1-0 away to South Sudan and Burkina Faso drew 0-0 in Malawi to miss out on chances to qualify from Group A.

A couple of late goals from Percy Tau and Themba Zwane earned South Africa a 4-2 win over Sao Tome e Principe in Group C and eSwatini and Congo Brazzaville drew 0-0 in Group I.

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