Controversial VAR decision leave Senagal fuming as Crafty Desert foxes overpower Teranga Lions.
The desert foxes of Algeria have been crowned champions of the 2019 African cup of Nations after they beat Senegal 1-0 at the Cairo stadium.
Algeria overpowered Senegal for the second time in the tournament, having prevailed over their rivals by a similar goal margin when the two met earlier in a group stage match.
Bagdad Brounedjah’s second minute strike proved to be a only difference between the two sides in what can be described as an extraordinary conclusion to Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
The game was characterized by a lot of stifling challenges and physical battles as both sides looked desperate to clinch the trophy.
However Bagdad Brounedjah gave Algeria an early lead after some lackluster defending from Senegal.
The Saudi based striker spurred his side into the lead as his riveting shot deflected off Sane before beating frozen Senegalese goalkeeper Gomis.
Aliou Cisse’s men recovered quickly and and gradually began to discover their rhythm.
Ismailia Saar wasted a free kick effort as he shot directly into the arms of Rais M’bolhi.
Drama unfolded in Cairo as the Referee rescinded his earlier decision to award Senegal a penalty after a Senegalese cross came off the arm of Sofiane Feghouli, but the VAR ruled in favor of the North Africans.
M’baye Niang blew a glorious opportunity as he lured M’bolhi out of his goal but the young striker failed to find the net. Goal keeper M’bolhi came to Algeria’s rescue once again as he parried a rocket shot away from goal.
Both coaches varied their tactical approach in the second half.
Diatta and Keita Balde were introduced to to give the Teranga lions more fire power up front while Behrami benefitted from the reshuffle as he came on for the North Africans.
Algeria centre back Benlamri suffered from a severe cut below his right eye after a nasty aerial clash with Sadio Mane before the latter’s shot at goal was blocked by the staunch Algeria defender Mandi.
Senegal struggled to break the defence of the Desert foxes but their effort proved futile as they suffered yet another defeat in a pulsating finish to the tournament.
Algeria have now won the African cup of nations trophy for the second time after they won the first in 1990.
Coach Aliou Cisse was part of the Star studded Senegalese side that lost the African cup of Nations final in 2002.
Algeri’s Djamel Belmadi becomes the 12th African (Local) coach to win the the African Cup of Nations trophy after Stephen Keshie’s trophy win with Nigeria in 2013.