Nigeria: Late Mahrez Strike Shatters Super Eagles Afcon Title Hopes

Algeria flag(top) Nigeria flag (below)

A last gasp goal from Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez led Algeria to reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match after defeating the Super Eagles 2-1 at Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night.

They will face their group opponents Senegal in the grand final on Friday at the same venue as they aim for their second AFCON title

With possession going towards Les Fennecs side, Baghdad Bounedjah was about to give Algeria the lead after 29 minutes. Youcef Belaili pass found the striker who rounded his marker, but his shot went straight to Nigeria's goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi hands.

The first real chance for the Super Eagles came after 38 minutes when Alex Iwobi found Odion Ighalo, but the striker's shot went wide.

Les Fennecs broke the deadlock five minutes from the break. Riyad Mahrez sent a calling cross that was deflected from Nigeria's defender William Troost-Ekong to his own net giving Algeria a deserved lead into the halftime.

Nigeria started the second half on attacking note trying to find the equalizer, but found a resolute Algerian defense that stopped all their attempts. Alex Iwobi tried from distance on the hour mark but missed the target widely.

Algeria tried depending on the counter attack, but couldn't make a difference. And after 70 minutes the game took a turnaround. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened to give Nigeria a penalty for a handball on Aissa Mandi. Odion Ighalo made no mistake from the spot to tie the game at 1-1.

Algeria players looked fatigued and tried to keep their opponents at bay, relying on Mahrez and Belaili's speed in counter attacks.

And it was Mahrez who won the match for Les Fennecs four minutes after the full time mark when his free kick was perfectly placed over the wall and into the net to lead Les Fennecs to the final for the second time in their history and the first since1990.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Trust

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.