July 15 – Riyad Mahrez’s stunning stoppage-time free kick gave Algeria an unlikely 2-1 win over Nigeria on Sunday and sent his country into their first African Cup of Nations final since 1990 when they won the title for the only time.
The Manchester City forward’s sublime strike broke Nigerian hearts on the verge of extra time and set up a final on Friday with Senegal who will be seeking their first title, 17 years after their only previous appearance in the final.
After Algeria had taken the lead courtesy of a William Troost Ekong own goal, ugly scenes marked Nigeria’s equaliser midway through the second half with bottles thrown following a penalty for handball after a lengthy VAR review.
Having eliminated Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria will be confident of going all the way. “I think we have been very good in this tournament. We scored 12 goals and conceded two, that is the source of our confidence,” said Mahrez. “We are looking forward to the final against Senegal. We played them in the group stage and we are expecting another tough game.”
An own goal in extra time earned Senegal their earlier 1-0 victory over Tunisia, both teams having had second-half penalties saved.
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