Algeria will be entertaining Senegal in the finals of the 2019 African Nations Cup in Egypt in a repeat of the Group C clash.
In the first semifinal game on Sunday evening, Sadio Mane’s Lions of Teranga ejected Tunisia one nil in extra time at the June 30th stadium in Cairo on Sunday evening.
Following a dramatic goalless 90 normal time full of VAR decisions that saw both teams miss penalty kicks, Senegal got an upper hand inside 10 minutes of added time when Tunisia’s Dylan Bronn scored in his own net to send his opponents into the finals.
Speaking about the game, Senegal coach, Alious Cisse described it as an honor to be in the finals for the first time in 17 years.
“I lived through the game with all nerves in the dugout. We are witnessing years of effort in fruition and I congratulate everyone on what we have achieved. I played the final as a player and now as a coach. I am humbled,”Cisse said.
Mahrez sends Algeria to finals
At the Cairo International Stadium, skipper Riyad Mahrez with a man of the match performance guided Algeria to the finals with a late minute gasp goal against Nigeria.
In the 40th minute mark, a cross by Mahrez saw William Ekong put the ball into his own net after a deflection for Algeria to take the deserved lead into halftime.
However, the Super Eagles restored parity when VAR gave them a penalty prompting Odion Ighalo to slot the ball home for an equalizer in the 70th minute.
The North African side however took the day when skipper Mahrez scored a superb freekick only four minutes to the final whistle to send the Algerian fans into frenzy in Cairo.
The goal saw Algeria book a final date with Senegal in a repeat of the Group C encounter in finals to be played on Friday July 19.
Speaking shortly after the game, said it was a hard-fought win for Algeria.
“It was a very tough game today especially when we were ahead and they equalized from the penalty. At the end, we had this freekick and we scored. We are very happy to be in the final of the AFCON because is something unbelievable,”Mahrez said.
Algeria coach, Djamel Belmadi admitted it was not an easy game for his boys on the day.
“The guys made an amazing first half. We deserved to score more. In the second half we had a difficult moment for around 15 minutes where we were under pressure. After the penalty players showed great attitude and mental strength and coming back until the end, fighting to score a goal was great for us,”Belmadi noted.
For the Nigerian coach, Gernot Rohr the best team took the day.
“It was a great fight until the last minute. Algeria had a better first half than us but we came back in the second half. We thought Algeria could be tired in extra time and we could win it,” Rohr said.