Points shared in thrilling Algiers derby

Algiers rivals USM Alger and MC Alger drew 2-2 and effectively ended both their hopes of winning the league, in front of a sold out Stade du 5 Juillet.

There was an unbelievable start to the match as Oussama Darfalou scored after just 19 seconds. Moroccan midfielder Reda Hajhouj supplied the striker with a brilliant pass, and finished superbly to give USM Alger the lead.

USMA then doubled their lead as the clock approached 20 minutes with a world class goal by Rafik Bouderbal. He dribbled past the Mouloudia defence and slotted home past Chaouchi to put his team 2-0 up.

Bouderbal was then forced to leave the pitch with a muscle injury in the first half. MC Alger then came back with some brilliant attacking play, and goalkeeper Mohamed Zemmamouche made some great saves to keep the score at 2-0 at half-time.

In the 52nd minute, Amir Karaoui thought he had scored but somehow Farouk Chafai managed to clear his shot off of the line. However, MC Alger pulled a goal back just minutes later thanks to a header by Sofiane Bendebka.

Controversy dominated the second half, and the referee awarded MC Alger a very soft penalty in the 70th minute. Walid Derrardja stepped up to take it, and Zemmamouche did amazingly well to save it.

Unfortunately for USMA, Abderrahmane Hachoud was there to score the rebound and make it 2-2. USM Alger were on the ropes, and received seven yellow cards in total as they looked to see the game out.

Derradja then rattled the crossbar in the 84th minute, but USMA held on for a draw and remain in 4th whilst MCA continue to sit in 3rd. Zemmamouche was undoubtedly the man of the match.

Algiers derby set to light up Algeria this weekend

USM Alger take on MC Alger in the Algiers derby this weekend on Saturday 24th February, with kick-off taking place at 4pm at the Stade du 5 Juillet stadium.

The two teams are separated by just two points, and both sides believe they still stand a chance of winning the Algerian League title despite just ten matches remaining in the division.

MC Alger sit in 3rd coming into this game, on 33 points and six points behind the league leaders CS Constantine, whilst USMA are 4th on 31 points.

USMA have lost only three of their last 15 Algiers derby games, and they will have the majority of the fans inside the ground as it is their home fixture this weekend.

Striker Oussama Darfalou should be fit in time for the weekend, however Abderrahmane Meziane and Faouzi Yaya are injury doubts for the game and face a race to be fit.

Mouloudia have less preparation for the big match as they had a mid-week game in the CAF Champions League against Congolese side AS Otoho, which also took place at the Stade du 5 Juillet.

A loss for either side would be devastating and surely end their hopes for the 2017/18 league title. You can follow live updates of the match on @DZFootball_en.

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