Clinton N’Jie and the debuting Frantz Pangop fired Cameroon past Algeria as the reigning African champions secured a 2-0 win in Yaounde in a World Cup qualifying dead rubber.
The heavyweight duo, both of whom were present in Brazil in 2014, were already out of the running for the global showpiece in Russia next summer after taking just three and one point respectively from their opening Group B fixtures.
The loss ensures that Algeria will finish bottom of the group regardless of their result in their final group match against Nigeria, who secured their spot in Russia with a 1-0 victory over Zambia in Uyo on Saturday.
While Cameroon could yet overtake Zambia into second, this has been a disappointing qualifying campaign for Hugo Broos’s side, even though they’ve only lost once in their opening five fixtures.
Nonetheless, the form of N’Jie – enjoying a renaissance at Marseille – represents a genuine point of positive for the Central Africans, and it was the Tottenham Hospur reject who opened the scoring in the 25th minute.
Vincent Aboubakar capitalised on a rare misplaced pass from Ramy Bensebaini, and played in the 24-year-old, who bore down on goal and kept his composure to slip a low shot beneath Rais M’Bolhi.
El Arabi Hillel Soudani missed the first of three decent opportunities to level the score when he fired over after being played in by Sofiane Hanni just after the half-hour mark, and fired wide before the break after being picked out by Ishak Belfodil.
Algeria enjoyed the better of the contest after the break, but substitute Pangop – the only home-based player among the Lions – netted less than a minute after coming off the bench as his close-range effort deflected off Aissa Mandi’s outstretched arm and past M’Bolhi.