Algeria: Zambia Down Algeria for First Win

Algeria's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup were dealt a big blow as they lost 3-1 to Zambia

The 26-year-old was sorely missed by his global team-mates as they lost 3-1 in Lusaka, dealing a huge blow to their World Cup qualification hopes.

Algeria stay bottom of Group B on 1 point from three game and are a point behind 3rd placed Cameroon who lost 4-0 away to Nigeria in the other Group B clash earlier on Friday in Uyo.

But Yacine Brahimi pulled one back for Algeria in the 55th minute.

Eventually it was evident that Mahrez would remain a Leicester City player, and the Premier League victor had to make his way back to his Algerian team-mates - but not in time for their trip to Zambia.

The two sides meet in the reverse fixture in Constantine on Tuesday, and while Algeria will be boosted by the return of Riyad Mahrez, they will already be eliminated if Nigeria beat Cameroon in Yaounde on Monday.

Depending on the results, Nigeria could become the first qualifiers from Africa for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with two matches to spare.

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Zambia striker Brian Mwila hit the woodwork in the opening minutes, headed in Zambia's first in the sixth minute, and made it 2-0 in the 32nd.

All the goals came during the second half with Max-Alain Gradel breaking the deadlock on 53 minutes before Doumbia netted twice within seven minutes during the closing stages. Only the five group winners qualify for the World Cup.

Wilmots was brought in as coach after Ivory Coast, the defending champion, crashed out of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon in the first round at the beginning of the year. Both the teams have played two matches so far.

The visitors' hopes of completing the comeback were boosted when Sakala received a second yellow card for a reckless challenge and he was sent off in tears in the 56th minute.

Yassine Meriah converted a penalty to give the "Carthage Eagles" a lead that was cancelled two minutes before half-time through a Cedric Bakambu header. They sit at the fourth spot with just one point.

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