Algeria Triumph In African Cup of Nations 2019
Jul 22, 2019 by Stewart Coggin
Algeria defeated Senegal 1-0 to win the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Baghdad Bounedjah’s 2nd minute shot took a massive deflection off Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.
Senegal were on top for long spells and their players collapsed in tears at the end of the game as Algeria won their first title since 1990.
A penalty was awarded to Senegal for handball in the second-half, only to be overturned by VAR.
Algeria adopted a defensive approach after the goal and were as impenetrable as they have been throughout the tournament.
Premier League stars Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez both failed to shine, with Mane’s every touch booed by Algeria fans clearly fearful of what the Liverpool star may produce.
M’Baye Niang had two of Senegal’s best chances but fired over the bar in the first-half and rounded keeper Rais M’bolhi early in the second, only to shoot wide from a tight angle.
Youssouf Sabaly also saw a fierce shot pushed over the bar before Senegal were awarded a penalty when Ismaila Sarr blasted a cross at Adlene Guedioura’s arm.
But as Senegal players celebrated, referee Neant Alioum indicated that he would be reviewing on VAR and subsequently overturned the decision as Guedioura’s arms were clearly by his side.
Algeria finished the match with just one shot on goal, and Senegal will regret that they could not turn their dominance into goals, with 12 shots, but just three on target.
“It’s extraordinary. It’s historic,” Algeria head coach Djamel Belmadi told beIN Sports. “This is the first Cup of Nations we have won outside our borders.
“Since 1990, it has been a long, empty passage. We are a football country. We deserve it, I think.
“It was a very complicated match, very difficult. We knew that it was going to be decided on a small detail. And the boys held on.
“With the tournament we had, with better attack and better defence, what more? But without the players, I am nothing.
“We tend to forget that they are the main protagonists. They are the ones who play, who apply the instructions. They did it wonderfully – if not better.”
/Stewart Sports news editor