Algeria on Friday beat Senegal to win its second African Cup of Nations title but also it’s first in a period of 29 years.
A Baghdad Bounedjah second minute deflection off captain Cheikhou Kouyate was enough to beat the Senegal goalkeeper and over the goalkeeper Alfred Gomis for the only goal of the day that also ensured Algeria emerged winners.
However, despite taking an early lead, the desert foxes as they are nicknamed didn’t play as such beautiful and dominant football as their fans were used to during the tournament.
The Algerian players resorted diving, feigning injury, kicking Senegalese counterparts and spoiling throughout the game but as they say, lady luck was on their side
The Lions of Teranga on the other side tried a number of times to create chances but they were denied by the Algerian defence which stood tall on the day.
Senegal’s chance came in the second half when they the centre referee Alioum Alioum handed them a penalty but it was clear the night was not theirs when the Video Assistant Referee(VAR) overturned the decision.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) July 19, 2019
It was a sigh of relief for Algerian players who later went on to jubilate after the final whistle at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday night that saw them lift the title they had last won 29 years back in 1990.
Speaking shortly after the game, Algerian tactician Djamel Belmadi admitted his team didn’t play their best game but noted they most importantly won the trophy.
“It was not the best game in a technical sense but in finals, we play for the win and not for good football. This triumph has a special taste as it is not played at home,” Belmadi said.
“We are at the top of African football and I thank my players for the efforts.”
Senegal’s Alliou Cisse said their efforts to overturn the game were fruitless.
“We conceded early on and missed a few chances. We controlled the second half but failed to equalize. I congratulate Algeria on their title,” Cisse noted.
Afcon 2019 Awards
Man of the match- Rais M’bolhi (Algeria)
Player of the tournament – Ismaël Bennacer (Algeria)
Goalkeeper of the tournament – Rais M’bolhi (Algeria)
Fair play award – Senegal