Friday 6 December 2019

Mahrez the goal hero as Algeria face Senegal in Nations final

Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez curled in an injury-time free-kick to send Algeria through to the Africa Cup of Nations final in a 2-1 victory against Nigeria.

The game had looked to be heading to extra ti me as the two teams battled for the right to play Senegal in Friday's showpiece, but Manchester City midfielder Mahrez won it for Algeria late on.

Algeria went ahead courtesy of a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong, with the Udinese central defender turning a Mahrez cross into his own net.

Odion Ighalo equalised with a penalty for Nigeria, with the spot-kick awarded for handball after a VAR review.

An additional 30 minutes seemed likely but Mahrez settled the tie with what proved to be the last kick of the match, curling in a free-kick from just outside the area.

Algeria will play Senegal in the final after a bizarre own goal in extra time gave them a 1-0 win against Tunisia.

A mistake by goalkeeper Mouez Hassen in the 100th minute saw the ball bounce off the head of defender Dylan Bronn and trickle into the net.

Hassen came racing towards the penalty spot to try to cut out a cross from the right flank but completely missed the ball, which then hit the unfortunate Bronn.

Ferjani Sassi missed a penalty for Tunisia and Henri Saivet did likewise for Senegal but that was not the end of the drama.

Tunisia felt aggrieved as they were awarded another spot-kick late on after Salif Sane headed the ball against Idrissa Gueye's arm, only for that decision to be controversially overturned following a VAR check.

Senegal survived and are through to only their second Africa Cup of Nations final, having lost in 2002.

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