Mahrez stunner sends Algeria into Africa Cup of Nations final - Sports | NTV

Mahrez stunner sends Algeria into Africa Cup of Nations final

Monday July 15, 2019

 

Riyad Mahrez rifled in a stoppage-time free-kick to earn Algeria a dramatic 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria on Sunday and set up a rematch with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Algeria led through a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong before Nigeria equalised with an Odion Ighalo penalty on 72 minutes awarded after a VAR review.

However, as extra time looked necessary, Mahrez blasted in from 20 yards with the last kick of the match to send the Desert Foxes through to their first final since lifting the trophy for the only time in 1990.


Algeria will take on Sadio Mane's Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0.

"We are very happy to be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations because it is something very special," said Mahrez.

"It was our goal to do it for the people and for our families. We know they are behind us all the way. It's my most important goal for the national dream. Yes, it's my dream to win it and hopefully we will be able to."

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr conceded Algeria were worthy winners after denying the Super Eagles the chance to compete in an eighth final.

"I have to congratulate the players for a big fight against this very good team. They won it in the last minute and they deserved it," said Rohr. "A wonderful free-kick made the difference."

An injury to Youcef Atal, who fractured his collarbone during the quarter-final win over Ivory Coast on penalties, forced Djamel Belmadi to start Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, while Nigeria fielded the same team that overcame South Africa here.

Algeria supporters filled most of the lower tier at one end of the ground, dwarfing a small section of Nigeria fans, but there were large swathes of empty seats at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.