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Rais M'Bolhi impresses in Africa Cup of Nations opener

Rais M'Bolhi was stout in Algeria's 3-1 win over South Africa in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

It's good to see that Rais M'Bolhi has not let the Philly cheesesteak get the better of him. A trimmed down M'Bolhi was in good form in Algeria's Africa Cup of Nations opening 3-1 win against South Africa. For most of the match South Africa were actually the superior side, shredding Algeria's back four and leaving M'Bolhi exposed. South Africa flat out missed many chances, but M'Bolhi saved three shots - each of them impressive - until the rest of his teammates woke up and took over the match.

At one point things looked extremely bleak for Algeria. Already down 1-0, Rais M'Bolhi was staring down South African Tokelo Rantie who was about to take a penalty kick. This moment prompted BeIN Sport commentator Phil Schoen to say, "M'Bolhi thought Philadelphia was tough, but Equatorial Guinea is turning out to be a nightmare." Fortunately for Rais, Rantie's shot struck the crossbar and went out of play.

After that misplay, Algeria struck three times in the next fifteen minutes finishing off what many believed to still be a fortunate outcome. South Africa managed just one more shot the rest of the way. M'Bolhi was clearly a key reason Algeria was even in the game before the turnaround. Whoscored rated his game a 7.2, the fourth highest score among all players.

Algeria and Rais next play Ghana on Friday, January 23rd at 11am on BeIN Sports USA.