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African All Stars

Afcon 2019: Algeria shutdown Super Eagles wingers Musa and Chukweze – Belmadi

6:07 PM IST 15/07/19
Djamel Belmadi - Algeria coach, Afcon 2019
The Desert Foxes reached their first continental final for the first time in 29 years after overcoming the Super Eagles in Cairo

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has explained how his side closed down spaces which could have allowed Nigeria's wingers Ahmed Musa and Samuel Chukwueze to thrive in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday.

The Desert Foxes secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Super Eagles, with Riyad Mahrez scoring the match-winning goal with his stoppage time free-kick.

The victory ensured the Desert Foxes’ progress to the final of the continental tournament for the third time in their history.

The 43-year-old boss believes his side’s strategy ensured their victory over the three-time African champions at the Cairo International Stadium.

"We had to make a plan for Nigeria. We know that they used [Ahmed] Musa and [Samuel] Chukwueze directly with a lot of pace,” Belmadi told the media.

“We tried to close those spaces. Musa's pace is so impressive. He was the most dangerous player in this team.

“I also know that their defenders are very good, but not very fast. If you run at them, they struggle.

“We know that it would be a tough game because of the tough match against Cote d'Ivoire three days ago and because of the quality of the opponent."

Algeria will square up with Senegal in the final of the competition at Cairo International Stadium on Friday as they hope for their second continental trophy.