Algeria defeated Benin 3-1 in Blida on Tuesday in the 2014 World Cup qualifying to leap to the top of Group H with six points, slightly ahead of Mali on goal differences.
The match was the final fixture of Match Day three in the group phase of the 2014 World Cup qualifying in Caf zone.
The visiting Squirrels were leading the group by the end of the two previous match days, thanks to a home win against Mali and an away draw against Rwanda that handed them four points.
Coach Manuel Amoros had declared his side would settle for a draw against the Fennec Foxes at the worst, but the absence of playmaker Stephane Sessegnon of Sunderland made matters worse in game construction and ball distribution.
Algeria began with a frenetic pace that pushed the visitors to their back half to defend during much of the first 30 minutes of the clash.
An early goal in the 9th minute from Valencia midfielder Sofiane Feghouli stirred the hosts’ domination but Benin, through some scattered but timely counter actions, pulled level in the 26th minute through a free-kick executed by French-born Rudy Gestede of Cadiff City, who was playing with the Squirrels for the first time.
The West Africans struggled to maintain the parity till the break but ran out of steam in second half gifting the Fennec a number of goal chances, one of which fell to Bologna’s Saphir Taider by the hour mark, while home-based striker Islam Slimani sealed his side’s 3-1 triumph during added time.
Benin are now third placed with four points while Rwanda sit at the bottom of the group with one point.