Algeria registered an important 1-0 road victory over Cameroon in the first leg of playoffs in FIFA World Cup African qualifiers on Friday.
Cameroon began the match with determination and showed promising signs in front of home fans at the Japoma stadium in Douala, where Algeria had lost two matches and drawn one in their disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign early this year.
Algeria put on a masterful display of defensive football, holding the Indomitable Lions at bay, reports Xinhua.
Striker Islam Slimani scored with a brilliant header in the 40th minute to move the Algerians ahead, and the North Africans held on to win the match.
Algeria have never beaten Cameroon in any competitive game since 1984.
Cameroon were playing their first game under new coach and former national captain Rigobert Song, who replaced Toni Conceicao in early March.
“Algeria barely had good chances. We had the ball possession and the best part of the game. We can only say nothing happened, get back to work, prepare for Algeria, and then move on to the World Cup,” Song told reporters after the match.
“It was not easy, but we made an effort because Cameroon is not an easy team. We worked so hard for this and we are happy we achieved our goal,” Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi said.
The two teams will face off again on Tuesday at Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida.