Late drama unfolded at the Africa Cup of Nations as Cameroon secured a spot in the last 16 with a dramatic victory over Gambia. Meanwhile, former champions Algeria crashed out of the tournament after a surprise defeat against Mauritania. The defending champions Senegal also confirmed their spot with a perfect record, while Mauritania advanced to the knockout phase for the first time in their history as one of the four best third-placed teams.
Algeria, who won the AFCON title in 2019, suffered a shock exit from the group stage, finishing at the bottom of their group. Former champions had a disappointing run, going six matches without a win since their victory in 2019. On the other hand, Mauritania’s coach expressed surprise and joy at their qualification, highlighting the hard work put in by the team.
Cameroon’s qualification was secured with a 2-3 win over Gambia in a thrilling match, with a last-minute comeback sealing their spot in the next round. The dramatic result saw Gambia’s coach announcing his departure despite having a contract until 2026.
Additionally, the group stage of the tournament saw other teams like Angola and Burkina Faso qualifying for the knockout phase. Guinea secured a place in the next round but knocked out four-time champions Ghana, while the final group stage matches were set to determine the remaining qualifiers.