Napoli fans really miss Faouzi Ghoulam right now, though Ivan Strinic is doing his best to ease the pain. Ghoulam is missing from Napoli's lineup because he's at the African Cup of Nations with Algeria, and on Monday played their first match of the tournament against South Africa.
Algeria played disappointingly flat for most of the game, but woke up in a big way when South Africa scored the first goal of the match in the 51st minute and missed a penalty just three minutes later. From there on, it was all Algeria, all the time, and man did the Fennec foxes put on a show.
Algeria found an equalizer in the 67th minute thanks to an own goal, and five minutes later, Ghoulam did this:
Thanks to Jack Grimse for the vine
The effort on the run and quality of the finish were astounding, and while South Africa goalkeeper Darren Keet certainly could have done much better, Ghoulam's strike stands out strongly even with some other high-quality strikes early in this edition of AFCON. It's definitely a moment he'll remember for the rest of his life.
Ghoulam played very well all match long, though it was his man, Thuso Phala, who scored South Africa's goal, albeit not on a sequence that Ghoulam was covering him. The win puts Algeria even with Senegal atop group C after one round of the group stage; those two teams play each other to close their group campaign January 27th, with Algeria next playing when they take on Ghana on the 23rd. Even as a favorite of the tournament after their strong World Cup showing, Algeria have a lot of work left to do in a very difficult group.