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Faouzi Ghoulam and Algeria felled by Ghana

Algeria were beaten by Ghana almost literally at the last second, throwing their AFCON advancement in to doubt.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Napoli's lone representative in this season's African Cup of Nations didn't have nearly as good a day on Friday as he did in his first match of the tournament. After scoring the winning goal for Algeria against South Africa on Monday, Faouzi Ghoulam could only stand by and watch helplessly as malaria-stricken Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan scored the winner in the dying moments of extra time on Friday.

Ghoulam didn't play badly in the match - in point of fact he was one of the few Algerians who performed fairly well on the day - but he did have his hands full with Ghana winger Christian Atsu for much of the day. Ghoulam does a lot of things well, but his main limitation is when faced with a combination of pace and power, something that Atsu has in spades. The young attacker gave Ghoulam problems throughout the match, requiring his full efforts to keep the Ghanaian in check.

Ghoulam's attacking efforts were limited by his need to stay more disciplined in defense, as well as a lack of quality on the day by Algeria's various attackers. Algeria just couldn't find a way to break through a determined Ghanaian defense, and in the end, their defense couldn't quite hold up to the task at had, allowing Gyan's late winner.

This result coupled with the draw between Senegal and South Africa later in the day throws group C in to wide open contention. Senegal currently leads with four points, with Algeria and Ghana right behind on three each. South Africa has just one, but aren't out of the race yet. If Algeria want to guarantee their advancement to the knockout rounds of AFCON, they must find a way to defeat Senegal on the 27th. If they even just draw, they'll be reliant on the result between Ghana and South Africa going their way; lose, and they're done.