The Desert Foxes, winners in 2019, sealed their ticket for what will be a 20th AFCON finals appearance on Monday with a rather unimpressive 1-0 win over Niger at the Hammadi Agrebi Stadium in Tunis.
Niger, forced to host the home fixture in Tunisia due to lacking a stadium approved by CAF, struggled to cause similar problems to Algeria as they did in their meeting last week in Algiers, and were restricted to only one shot on target in the game.
Although Algeria themselves did not impress either, especially after an explosive start that saw them take the lead through Baghdad Bounedjah’s 23rd goal for the Desert Warriors.
Their other threat came at the quarter-hour mark when Chaibi headed Van Den Kerkhof's cross wide of the left post.
Though they should have doubled the lead in the 54th minute after Farès Chaïbi turned in a cross but he was ruled offsides, a decision that appeared to be incorrect on the replay.
But the performance cannot derail them especially after the whole sale changes made to the team by coach Djamel Belmadi for the away leg after a disappointing start in Algiers four days ago.
The team featured a completely new defence, which comprised Moustapha Zeghba, Kevin Van Den Kerkhof, Mohamed Amine Tougai, Ramy Bensebaini, and Jaouen Hadjam.
Ramiz Zerrouki, Fares Chaïbi, and Bounedjah were also included further up the field.
Hadjam, in particular, struggled to make any sort of impact on his debut at left-back. With Andy Delort was mostly anonymous up front, and he failed to even test Tandja with a strike from inside the area on 34 minutes when presented with a chance.
Meanwhile, the Menas remain in third place with only two points from their opening four matches, leaving their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.