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School Kids Absolutely Lose It With The Appearance Of Riyad Mahrez At AFCON

It didn't go so well on the pitch for Algeria, which began its campaign with a draw against Sierra Leone.

The reigning Africa Cup of Nations champion Algeria began its title defense Tuesday with a match against Sierra Leone in Douala, meaning it was also time to get a first glimpse of three-time Premier League winner and 2016 African Footballer of the Year Riyad Mahrez.

Mahrez was the most electrifying player at the 2019 tournament (that sensational game-winning free kick against Nigeria in the semifinals still gives chills), and the 30-year-old winger was in top form for Manchester City — 13 goals and five assists in 24 appearances across all competitions — before arriving in Cameroon.

He's one of the star attractions of AFCON, and this video of school kids greeting Algeria's team bus and losing their collective minds when Mahrez appears is what this tournament is all about — Africa's best players showing up and showing out for the continent.     

After a run of five consecutive 1-0 matches, we unfortunately had our first scoreless draw of AFCON between Mahrez's Algeria and Kei Kamara's Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone (making its first AFCON appearance since 1996) entered the tournament ranked 108th in the world and already eliminated from World Cup contention, but the Leone Stars got seven saves from 22-year-old goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara to frustrate the world's 29th ranked team.

There was a lot of emotion from start to finish. Kei Kamara was in tears at the end of the national anthem...

And Mohamed Kamara was jubilant at the final whistle.

The group's other two teams — Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea — play Wednesday. 

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