Senegal and Algeria set to battle for a gold medal in the 2019 Total AFCON finals
Riyard Mahrez’s Algeria will face Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt on Friday 19th July.
“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,” an honoured Senegal coach, Alious Cisse stated.
“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,” Algeria’s coach Djamel Belmadi highlighted.
It was the first time in 17 years for Senegal to reach the finals of Africa Cup of Nations, Tunisia’s Dylan Bronn scored an unlucky own goal after he deflected a shot which went into his own nett in the first period of extra time to grant the Senegalese a narrow win past their opponents.
Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Algeria as the only remaining side that has scored in 90 minutes during this year’s AFCON finals secured a late win against defensive opponents Nigeria to book themselves a medal in the final.
Riyard Mahrez perfectly curled a ball perfectly into the back of the net from a free-kick near the edge of the box to grant his side a 2-1 win over Nigeria.
This victory ended their 29-year wait for an AFCON final with their last appearance being in 1990 – the year of their only title.
This encounter will be a repeat of Group C clash between the two sides – the Senegalese will be looking to revenge after losing to the Algerians by a goal to nil in the group stages of this year’s ACON campaign.
Appropriately, Tunisia will go head to head with Nigeria in a battle for the third and fourth place on Wednesday 17th July.
By John Dalton Kigozi