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Mahrez stunner breaks Nigerian hearts as Algeria reach AFCON finals

Algeria will face Senegal in the final of AFCON 2019. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

AFCON 2019

Algeria 2-1 Nigeria

Cairo International Stadium, Cairo

Sunday, 15-07-2019

With the last kick of the game, Riyad Mahrez scored a fierce free-kick as Algeria defeated Nigeria to book a date with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

With the games headed for extra-time, Mahrez ended Nigeria’s hopes of a fourth AFCON title to see the Desert Foxs win 2-1 in a nerve-wracking cracker played at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night.

Odion Ighalo has earlier in the second half canceled out Troost-Ekong’s own goal in the first half, temporarily leveling the scores at 1-1.

It was a game in which Algeria showcased their superiority from the start, dominating possession and creating the better chances.

The should have led earlier in the first half but the impressive Baghdad Bounedjah was lucking in his finishing, wasting two glorious opportunities.

The striker first poked the ball past Kenneth Omeruo then shot straight at Daniel Akpeyi, before bursting through on goal only for Jamilu Collins to narrowly lift the ball over his own crossbar.

With five minutes of the first half two play, Algeria finally made their superiority count as Troost-Ekong couldn’t get his body out of the way, deflecting Mahrez’s attempted cross into his own net.

With Djamel Belmadi’s set on their way to a 1-0 victory, VAR struck in the cruelest of manners. Peter Etebo tried his luck from distance but his shot which looked to be heading wide hit Aissa Mandi’s hand and after consultation from VAR, Nigeria were awarded a penalty.

Up stepped Ighalo to slot in the equalizers, one Nigeria did not look like getting moments earlier.

Inside the 5 added minutes, Mahrez showcased his class via the dead-ball, hammering in the winner to silence the Nigerian crowd that was vocal throughout the game.

Algeria now reach their first ever final since winning the tournament in 1990 and will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal.

For Nigeria, they will play for the third spot against Tunisia on Wednesday night.

The other semi-final result

-Senegal 1-0 Tunisia

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