TOUGH OPENER

Holders Algeria held to surprise draw at Cup of Nations

The West Africans, competing at the tourney for the first time since 1996, clung on for a point in sweltering heat in the port city of Douala

In Summary

•Algeria make an uninspiring start to their title defence with a drab 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone

•The second Group E game features Equatorial Guinea against Ivory Coast

Sierra Leone's Osman Kakay in action with Algeria's Youcef Belaili
Sierra Leone's Osman Kakay in action with Algeria's Youcef Belaili
Image: REUTERS

Holders Algeria were held to a surprise goalless draw by Sierra Leone as they made an uninspiring start to the defence of their Africa Cup of Nations title in Douala on Tuesday.

Algeria were expected to get their Group E campaign at the tournament in Cameroon off to an easy start against minnows Sierra Leone, who were returning to the tournament for the first time since 1996.

But it proved a brave showing by the West Africans as they clung on for a point in sweltering heat in the port city.

The second Group E game is being played on Wednesday in Douala when Equatorial Guinea meet the Ivory Coast.