The conclusion of day three in Egypt saw Algeria make light work of Kenya in what was a thoroughly straightforward routine victory for Djamel Belmadi and his charges.
Having earlier saw group opponents and fellow pre-tournament favourites Senegal brush off Tanzania, Algeria had to hold their end of the bargain and they barely broke a sweat in doing so thoroughly seeing off the challenge of Kenya and readying themselves for the titanic encounter versus the Senegal in round two in Group C next Thursday. But for the here and now versus Kenya, Algeria strolled their way to an impressive victory.
The game kick-started with Algeria quite expectedly showing intent of laying their credentials to bear playing some sumptuous stuff and constantly threatening the area of Kenya with star man Mahrez and his accomplices very much in the thick of affairs and it was no surprise when they finally broke the deadlock on the 34th minute mark.
Dennis Odhiambo recklessly felled Youcef Atal in the Kenyan six yard box leaving the referee with no other option than to award a penalty for Algeria. Baghdad Bounedjah stepped up and made no mistake sending goalkeeper Patrick Matasi the wrong way. And from there, the matter of who bags maximum points had an inevitability with it which was confirmed when Mahrez connected from close range with a left footed effort from an Ismael Bennacer cross completing a completely one sided first half.
The second half started off on a lethargic languid note and that was the story throughout the rest of it as Kenya didn’t threaten enough to do any damage to Algeria nor did the Desert Foxes come out of second gear to try and increase their tally with a lot of stoppages impeding the flow of the game.
But the job had already been wrapped up way before that point and Algeria who did not even make it out of the group stage in 2017 will be looking forward to a much impressive campaign this time around with expectations as high as possible as one of the favourites to win the overall thing. Senegal lie in wait next for Algeria and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out on Thursday in the Group C clash of the titans.