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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Djamel Belmadi lauds Algeria’s attitude and mental strength against Nigeria

3:51 pm AEST 15/7/19
Djamel Belmadi coach of Algeria.
Riyad Mahrez' last-minute effort ensured the Desert Foxes booked their place in the final of the continental tournament

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has praised his side’s attitude and mental strength in their 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the semi-final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

Riyad Mahrez scored the winning goal with his last-mite free-kick after Odion Ighalo’s spot-kick had cancelled out William Troost-Ekong’s own goal.

The victory means the North Africans will play in their first final since 1990, when they won the trophy for the first time as the host nation.

Belmadi admitted the game was tough after his side conceded a penalty but he is pleased with the comeback from the Desert Foxes.

“The guys made an amazing first half. We deserved to score more,” Belmadi is quoted as saying by the  Caf website.

“In the second half we had a difficult moment for around 15 minutes where we were under pressure.

“After the penalty my players showed great attitude and mental strength and coming back until the end, fighting to score a goal was great for us.”

Algeria will square up with Senegal, who defeated Tunisia, in the final of the biennial tournament at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday.