Published: Tue, July 16, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

AFCON: Why Nigeria lost to Algeria - Rohr

AFCON: Why Nigeria lost to Algeria - Rohr

Algeria have qualified for the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations final after beating the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 on Sunday, July 14, at the Cairo global stadium.

Algeria took the lead in the 40th minute through an own goal, when a cross from Riyad Mahrez was directed into the Nigerian post by William Troost-Ekong, but a Video Assistance Referee (VAR) awarded penalty to the West Africans in the second half to bring the game to level. Egypt will play host this time around in a reimagining of the 1990 AFCON final.

The two sides have already met once before in this year's competition, with Algeria winning 1-0 in the Group Stage.

"It was our goal to do it for the people and for our families".

"They should keep supporting us". It's my most important goal for the national dream.

"We expected that we would win, but we have to keep our head calm", he added.

Since that last glory in the AFCON, Algeria's best-placed finish came in 2010, when they reached the semi-finals. I think we have been very good in this tournament.

Rohr praised the resilience shown by his side throughout the tournament, as they responded to a shock loss to Madagascar by toppling defending champions Cameroon and beating South Africa before coming from behind against Algeria.

The game seemed to be heading into extra time, only until Algeria were awarded a free kick from just outside the box for a foul.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi admitted that the pressure got to his players, who had played extra time in the previous round against Ivory Coast.

Prior to Sunday, Mahrez had never scored more than two goals in a calendar year for Algeria but one handsome strike of the ball changed all that, as the 28-year-old curled the free-kick beyond Daniel Akpeyi, sending his side into Friday's final and his fans into raptures.

In the other match Senegal, aiming to win the tournament for the first time, meet a Tunisia side appearing to pick up momentum at the right time.

Seemingly having moved on from the penalty miss that reduced him to tears in the last round, Bounedjah was consistently proving a nuisance to a nervy Nigeria backline with Jamilu Collins relieved to see a toed clearance land on the roof of the net.

"Super Eagle played fantastic football, but the Algerians dominated them towards the last minute and they were lucky to get the goal".

In the final on July 19, again at the Cairo International Stadium, Mahrez will be facing a familiar foe, now on an equal par in the goalscoring stakes for the tournament.

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