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B. Bounedjah (2)
Cairo International Stadium
Senegal v Algeria Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
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Well, that’s all we have time for. Thanks for tuning in!
In terms of quality, Algeria did not exactly produced today, but they held on firm after getting their slice of luck in the opening minutes, ending a 29-year wait for this trophy.
The scenes are extraordinary in Cairo, with Algeria’s squad having rushed straight over the barriers and towards their approximate 15,000 travelling fans, who are in raptures.
It’s all over in Cairo! Algeria have won their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1990, putting in a superb, battling display following Bounedjah’s fortuitous goal in the second minute. Senegal – who had a penalty awarded but then overturned by VAR – were well on top for large periods, but could not find a way through.
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FULL TIME: SENEGAL 0 ALGERIA 1.
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BLOCKED! Sane tries a pile driver of a shot, but Algeria’s defence swarm out to intercept and, then, the whistle goes!
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A huge chance for Senegal, with the clock ticking down! Guedioura has been penalised for a stupid handball, 25 yards out from Algeria's goal. Will this be the moment?
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Gueye puts in the cross, but from a crowd of players it is M’bolhi who comes out clutching the ball for dear life. We are heading into the final minute…
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Mandi has received a booking for a foul on Sarr, handing Senegal a free-kick in a dangerous position.
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There will be four minutes of added time in Cairo. Can Senegal find an equaliser, or will Algeria – sure to be buoyed on by their raucous travelling support – hold firm?
We are into the final minute of normal time, and Algeria are making their final change. Goalscorer Bounedjah is off, replaced by Slimani.
Wow, that is awful from Diatta! The Senegal substitute stood over a free-kick down the left, but his attempted cross – or it could have even been a shot – sailed way off target.
Clever, crafty play from Mahrez, who holds off the challenge of Sabaly before drawing a hefty tackle from the Senegal defender. Algeria cannot keep possession from the free-kick, though, and now have some defending to do.
And now, a change for Senegal. Niang, who missed a great chance earlier on in the second half and also went close with a superb effort in the first period, has gone off, with Keita coming on.
A second change in quick succession for the Desert Foxes. Feghouli has made way for Tahrat.
Algeria make their first change, with the experienced Brahimi coming on in place of Belaili, who has impressed in midfield today.
MISS! What a chance for Senegal! The ball fell to Sarr just inside Algeria’s area, but the youngster failed to keep his cool, lashing a wild volley way over the bar. Will the Lions get another opportunity as clear as that one?
Algeria want a free-kick after Bounedjah appeared to have been hauled down on the edge of the box, but there is nothin doing for the referee, and Senegal are able to get upfield on the counter.
Senegal are becoming a bit desperate, now, as Gassama receives a caution for a rash dive on Bennacer.
Meanwhile, Gueye – who has not been at his best deployed in a more advanced role for Senegal today – has picked up a booking for a foul on Belaili.
Finally, Benlamri has been handed a new pair of shorts, and will be allowed back onto the field of play.
Benlamri wants to come back on, but the fourth official is not allowing him to do so, insisting the Algeria defender has to change his shorts, which are covered in blood.
Algeria are temporarily reduced to 10 men, as Benlamri continues to receive treatment. A shot from Mane looked to be heading on target, but Mandi gets across to make a vital block.
Benlamri is going to need some treatment, now, after a clash with Mane results in him receiving a nasty cut to his face. Cisse takes advantage of the stoppage by making a second change, with Saivet replaced by Diagne.
CLOSE! Belaili gets a second attempt at a cross after his initial delivery is cleared back to him from a corner. The midfielder drills in a flat effort which takes a flick off Sane, who diverts it inches over the bar.
Algeria need to slow the tempo down, now, and try and find some control. Senegal have been well on top in the last 10 minutes or so, and the Desert Foxes have looked stretched at the back.
SAVE! Senegal are getting closer! A wicked strike from Sabaly forces M’bolhi into action, with Algeria’s shot stopper doing brilliantly to leap high on his line and parry the effort over.
A huge roar goes up from the crowd now, as Franck Ribery appears on the big screen. The former Bayern Munich man’s wife Wahiba is a French national of Algerian descent.
CHANCE! Algeria’s defence are opened up as a long ball from deep sets Niang clear. He rounds M’bolhi, but the goalkeeper had done just enough to tighten the angle, and the striker can only send his strike over.
It is harsh for Senegal to have what looked to be a way back into this game ripped away from them, but the right decision has ultimately been reached. Can Algeria make their good fortune count and hang on to claim the trophy?
NO PENALTY! It has been overturned. The referee was instructed to check on his initial call using VAR, and after making his way to the screen down on the touchline, decided the handball was not intentional.
PENALTY TO SENEGAL! A breakaway down the right results in Sarr aiming to hook a cross in. Guedioura is there to intervene, but is adjudged to have used his hand to do so. It seemed a harsh decision, with the midfielder’s arm down by his side.
Cisse makes his first change after Senegal are awarded a free-kick which is directed straight at Algeria's goalkeeper. Diatta – who will likely move wide – replacing N’Diaye.
For the first time, Mane finds space in Algeria’s area, and wastes no time in hammering a strike towards goal. It may have been heading wide, but Benlamri did not know that, and made an instinctive block, losing one of his boots in the process.
Saivet lifts a Senegal free-kick into the area. Kouyate – who has recovered from the injury he sustained in the first half – tries to get there, but is crowded out by Algeria’s defence.
Belaili joins his Algeria team-mate Bensebaini in the referee's book, following a foul on Gassama.
Senegal, however, have hardly threatened since the interval. Mane has had one run, but it proved fruitless when – after he had played a pass into Niang – the striker’s sloppy touch ensured the move broke down.
Algeria have been extremely resolute at the back, but it looks like Belmadi has had them come out with a renewed vigour from the break. Mahrez is already getting in more promising positions, while Bounedjah is making some positive runs in behind Sengal’s defence.
Algeria have only conceded two goals in this tournament so far. Only in 1984 they have conceded less in a single edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, whey they finished third.
Algeria have got the second half up and running. As it stands, they are 45 minutes away from claiming their second Africa Cup of Nations title!
After Algeria’s early opener, it is Senegal who had the best of the play, though they have been unable to make their possession count, and Cisse’s side must be more clinical in their chance creation if they are to draw level in this contest.
Despite Algeria being on the attack, the referee blows for half-time, bringing an entertaining opening period to an end, though there was trouble between the two squads, who clashed as they walked off the field. The officials were quickly on hand to calm things down, however. It is the Desert Foxes who lead, thanks to Bounedjah’s fluke strike in the second minute.
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HALF-TIME: SENEGAL 0 ALGERIA 1.
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The corner is taken short and worked back to the edge of the box, with a shot from Sarr then coming in. The rebound falls to Sane, whose strike is deflected over, as Senegal maintain the pressure.
No penalty! A swift, slick move from Senegal leads to Sarr – who had made a late, third-man run – getting into the area. He seemed to have taken a knock from Zeffane just as he was about to get a shot away, but the official points for a corner.
Senegal are building pressure now as the break approaches, with Algeria pinned back in their own third. Finally, after a series of free-kicks, Bensebaini hoofs it clear, allowing his side to get up the pitch.
Algeria are playing their third Africa Cup of Nations final, after 1980 and 1990.
CLOSE! What an effort from Niang. Senegal are just inches away from an equaliser, as the former AC Milan forward takes on a speculative strike from 30 yards out. The connection was sweet, and M’bolhi was well beaten, but it flashes just over.
That’s a risky tackle by Bensebaini! Just moments after going into the book, Algeria’s left-back dives in on Sarr. Luckily for him, he just got a toe to the ball.
This is unnecessary from Feghouli, who overreacts after what was nothing more than a slight nudge by Mane. The Liverpool forward should not have reacted, but Feghouli’s play acting was uncalled for. Fortunately, the referee did not fall for it.
The first booking of the game goes Bensebaini’s way, with the defender having lunged in late on Sarr. It is all becoming rather scrappy in Cairo.
After hobbling to the sideline to have a further check up, Kouyate is now going to attempt to carry on.
Kouyate looks in some trouble, here, and a substitute is walking up. With Koulibaly already missing, it would be a huge blow if Kouyate cannot take any further part.
A clumsy tackle from Bennacer, who never looked likely to get the ball when he charged into Kouyate, and Senegal’s defender now has to receive treatment from the medical staff.
A first save to make for M’bolhi, who shows safe hands to take in Saivet’s dipping long-range strike from the free-kick. It could have been difficult to handle, with the ball having skipped up off the turf, but Algeria’s goalkeeper did well.
Another wonderful run from Mane, who is taking two or three defenders with him whenever he gets on the ball. This time, he is dragged down by Bennacer, and clatters into another Algeria player on hi sway down. He will be fine to carry on without treatment, though.
This is Senegal's second appearance in an Africa Cup of Nations final. They lost on penalties to Cameroon in 2002.
A string of niggling fouls from Algeria have just prevented Senegal building up a head of steam in Cairo. Eventually, Cisse’s side get a decent cross into the area, but Sane – who was in an offside position anyway – failed to hit the target.
Ndiaye leads another promising Senegal counter, charging through midfield before laying it off to Mane, who in turn slips a neat pass out wide to the overlapping Sabaly, but his delivery is cut out by Mahrez.
Senegal have won their last four Africa Cup of Nations games – their longest winning streak in the competition.
Another Senegal free-kick, and this time Saivet’s cross is a good one. Kouyate, captaining his side, meets it, but the Crystal Palace man sends his header well wide.
Saivet delivers the free-kick, but his cross is a poor one and fails to beat the first man, who clears with ease. The clearance almost turns into a fine pass for Bounedjah, but Gomis is off his line quickly to deal with the danger.
Mane is starting to see more of the ball, and again shows clever footwork to get the better of an Algeria defender before drawing a foul, 40 yards out.
Algeria are unbeaten against Senegal in four encounters in the Africa Cup of Nations, winning three of those matches.
The set-piece is floated towards Mandi, who nods it towards the six-yard box, where Bounedjah almost gets onto it. Senegal manage to clear their lines, however, with Mane getting past two players to lead a counter-attack, only to then be brought down. Feghouli has been deemed fit to continue, and is back on the field.
Feghouli has to receive some treatment following that foul.
Well, Senegal have rarely had to come from behind as of yet in the tournament, but the tide is well against them as it stands, with Algeria – buoyed by their luck – charging forward at every opportunity. The Fennec Foxes have won a free-kick, around 35 yards out.
Bennacer gets the assist, having played it into Bounedjah, whose effort was nothing more than a snapshot from the edge of the area. Sane looked to have done enough, but Gomis did his defender no favours by staying put far out from goal, not reacting to the flight of the ball at all.
GOOAAALLLL! ALGERIA ARE AHEAD! Just two minutes into the final, Bounedjah has made it 1-0 in the most fortuitous fashion. His strike took a wicked deflection off Sane, looping high into the air before dropping just under the crossbar and into the left-hand corner.
KICK-OFF! Senegal – looking to win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time – get the final and running.
The teams have made their way out at what is a packed Cairo International Stadium, with both Algeria and Senegal supporters – as well of those who are neutral – all in superb voice, creating a wonderful atmosphere. Now, it's time for the national anthems.
No changes from Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, who has the luxury of a squad pack full in terms of strength-in-depth when it comes to attacking players. Should the likes of Mahrez, Bounedjah, Belailli or Feghouli not be able to craft a breakthrough, Belmadi could call on any of Ounas, Slimani or Nice star Atal.
ALGERIA SUBS: Azzedine Doukha, Mehdi Tahrat, Rafik Halliche, Mohamed Fares, Yacine Brahimi, Adam Ounas, Islam Slimani, Hichem Boudaoui, Andy Delort, Alexandre Oukidja, Youcef Atal.
ALGERIA (4-1-4-1): Rais M’bolhi; Mehdi Zeffane, Djamel Benlamri, Aissa Mandi, Ramy Bensebaini; Adlene Guedioura; Riyad Mahrez, Sofiane Feghouli, Ismael Bennacer, Youcef Belaili; Baghdad Bounedjah.
Kalidou Koulibaly’s suspension has left Senegal boss Aliou Cisse without one of the world’s best defenders to call upon, and the Napoli man has been replaced by Schalke’s Sane in the heart of defence. The only other change for the Lions of Teranga sees Diatta make way for Sarr.
SENEGAL SUBS: Abdoulaye Diallo, Saliou Ciss, Pape Abou Cisse, Moussa Konate, Keita Balde Diao, Alfred N’Diaye, Krepin Diatta, Mbaye Diagne, Sada Thioub, Moussa Wague.
SENEGAL (4-3-3): Alfred Gomis; Lamine Gassama, Cheikhou Kouyate, Salif Sane, Youssouf Sabaly; Badou Ndiaye, Henri Saivet, Idrissa Gueye; Ismaila Sarr, M’Baye Niang, Sadio Mane.
Although their respective semi-finals went down to the wire, both of these sides are more than worthy finalists, having been consistent in their performances throughout the tournament. They previously met in the group stage, with Algeria triumphing 1-0 on that occasion.
After four weeks of action, it has all come down to today’s clash. Senegal needed extra-time to beat Tunisia in their semi-final, while Algeria relied on a stunning late winner from Riyad Mahrez to see off Nigeria.
Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of the Africa Cup of Nations final! Senegal and Algeria go head-to-head in what promises to be an enthralling showdown in Cairo.