Algeria and Senegal are the two teams that will feature in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Desert Foxes will play the Teranga Lions in the Friday final in Cairo, Egypt.
The North African giants and 1990 winners Algeria will be looking to win their second continental trophy while Senegal will be looking for their first title.
Senegal were the first team to book a place in the final this year after beating Tunisia 1-0 after extra time in the semifinals.
Algeria beat three-time winners Nigeria 2-1 in semifinals to set up a final with Senegal thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s last-gasp free-kick goal.
Senegal’s dramatic win over Tunisia
The semifinal between Senegal and Tunisia was so dramatic as both teams blew away golden chances to win the game including both teams missing penalties before Senegal finally found the net through Dylan Bronn’s own goal in the 100th minute of extra time.
Tunisia were the first to blow their chance away when Ferjani Sassi missed the penalty that would have given them the lead with just 15 minutes to play.
The same fate befell Senegal when Henri Saivet missed a penalty with just 10 minutes remaining. However, Saivet would be later relieved to see Bronn score an own goal that sent Senegal through to the final.
Algeria edge Nigeria with Mahrez superb Free kick
It was another entertaining semifinal between Algeria and Nigeria with the north African giants taking the lead just five minutes to the breakthrough William Troost-Ekong’s own goal.
The super Eagles managed to fight back and they were deservedly awarded a penalty by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the 70th minute following Aissa Mand’s handball in the area. Idion Ighalo stepped forward and put the ball at the back of the net to put Nigeria level and back into the game.
With everyone expecting the game to go into extra-time following the four minutes of added time, Algeria were awarded a free-kick just outside the box and Riyad Mahrez sensationally found the net with a superb left-foot effort that went over Nigeria’s wall into the net.
It was a moment of heartbreak for Nigeria and at the same time jubilation for Algeria as the two sides were separated with this last-gasp winner for Algeria.
Nigeria to battle Tunisia for third place
Having failed to make it to the final, both Nigeria and Tunisia will face each other this Wednesday in the third-place playoff.
Nigeria have won the tournament three times with the last time coming in the 2013 before they failed to qualify for the completion in the previous two encounters (2015 and 2017).
Tunisia have won the completion once and this came when they hosted the tournament in 2004 and they will still have to wait for their second triumph after this year.
Mane faces Mahrez in the final
The two Premier League stars will transfer their club rivalry into the final with each trying to win the trophy for their country.
Back in England, Mane’s Liverpool went head to head with Mahrez’s Manchester City up to the final day of the league with Manchester city edging their rivals by just two points to win the trophy. Sadio Mane was joint top scorer in the Premier League alongside two other African stars, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal and Gabon) and Mohamad Salah (Liverpool and Egypt) with 22 goals each.
The two sides were in the same group with Algeria edging their West African opponents 1-0
Both Mane and Mahrez head into the final with 3 goals each in the tournament just one behind top scorer Odion Ighalo of Nigeria.