MONGOMO, Equatorial Guinea, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Algeria's status as the top-ranked football nation on the continent comes under tough scrutiny as the African Nations Cup finals moves into a third day on Monday.
They play South Africa, who take a 12-match unbeaten run, impressive recent form and the elimination of defending champions Nigeria in the qualifiers, into the match at the Estadio de Mongomo.
The opening Group C game, in the town on Equatorial Guinea's eastern border with Gabon, will be followed by a heavyweight clash between Ghana and Senegal.
The kick off of the group has been much anticipated as it features four nations who can be considered title contenders.
Algeria breezed through the qualifying competition with five wins from six on the back of reaching the second round at the World Cup last year.
Ghana also participated in Brazil.
Senegal have a strong look about their side, led by the Premier League-based attacking duo of Papiss Demba Cisse and Mame Birame Diouf.
Group B action kicked off on Sunday with two draws as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo drew 1-1, the same score in the second game between the Cape Verde Islands and Tunisia.