Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Mksani’s late winner helps Tunisia beat Algeria
Africa Cup of Nations: Tunisia's Mksani scored a late winner against Algeria as another match is settled by late intervention
Youssef Mksani’s injury-time winner helped Tunisia steal all three points in their opening Africa Cup of Nations Group D fixture against Algeria in Rustenburg.
Mksani struck late to settle the North African derby at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, thumping home a right-footed effort from outside the area.
Tunisia suffered an early blow when striker Issam Jemma felt the force of a sixth-minute challenge from Essaid Belkalem, being replaced ten minutes later.
Chances were few and far between in some cagey opening stages that saw 14 fouls in the opening period.
The first opportunity fell to Fennec Foxes midfielder Foued Kadir, who collected the ball on the left, but scuffed his close-range shot which went into Moez Ben Charifa’s arms.
Slimani could have given Algeria the lead but saw his 29th-minute header crash against the crossbar following a cross from Valencia striker Sofiane Feghouli.
Shortly after, Kadir then failed to capitalise on some sloppy Tunisian defending after receiving the ball six yards from goal but miskicked his shot.
The Eagles of Carthage mustered their first attempt on target after a 43rd-minute counter attack, but Saber Khelifa could only fire straight at Rais M’Bohli.
Algeria continued to press after the break when AC Milan defender Djamel Mesbah’s shot from outside the area went just wide of Ben Charifa’s goal.
Tunisia responded when Hamdi Harbaoui was sent through on goal by Bilel Ifa, but M’Bohli was quick off his line to deny him.
Nottingham Forest midfielder Adlene Guedioura then fired a long-range 70th minute effort that went just over Ben Charifa’s crossbar.
Harbaoui should have given Tunisia the lead after finding himself one-on-one with M’Bohli but fired his 75th minute left-footed shot agonisingly wide.
And Algeria could have taken the lead with four minutes remaining after a ricochet in the Tunisian area eventually bounced just wide off Kabir’s knee.
But it was Tunisia who stole all three points in injury time thanks to Mksani’s strike and now face the Ivory Coast in the next round of Group D fixtures while Algeria face Togo.