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News Article

Curse of the holders striked again as AFCON heads into last 16

Algeria were unceremoniously dumped out on Thursday, Riyad Mahrez missing a penalty in a 3-1 defeat against the Ivory Coast before a delirious crowd in Douala as they finished bottom of their group with one point. Djamel Belmadi's team arrived in Cameroon on a 34-game unbeaten run and were naturally one of the favourites to win the title. Instead the Fennec Foxes depart with their tails between their legs.

In Africa, the Cup of Nations might be held more often and now features 24 teams after its expansion for the 2019 edition, but the reigning champions have a habit of stumbling at the finals.

Since Egypt won a third consecutive AFCON in 2010, only once have the title holders made the knockout phase of the following edition. That was Cameroon in 2019.  

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