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AFCON 2019: Algeria Crush Nigeria to Qualify for Final

Riyad Mahrez scored a stunning free kick to send Algeria into the Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of Nigeria.

Riyad Mahrez scored a stunning free kick to send Algeria into the Africa Cup of Nations final at the expense of Nigeria.

The Manchester City forward struck at the stoppage time from a free kick taken from the edge of the area to set up a final with Senegal.

A William Troost-Ekong own goal had given Algeria the lead before Odion Ighalo’s penalty levelled the scores.

Nigeria were tasked with the earlier defending when Chidozie Awaziem showed his aerial prowess to clear Ismael Bennacer’s goal-ridden attempt off the line at the 7th minute.

Sofiane Feghouli turned inside the box after collecting from the middle but debutant Kenneth Omeruo did well to go down and made the save later on.

Good work from Ramy Bensebaina down the wing set-up Baghdad Bounedjah who returned the pass to him before having a crack at goal but Daniel Akpeyi got down to make the save at the 19th minute.

Besebaina was in the thick of things again with a powerful drive from outside the box, but Akpeyi again was up to the task with a stunning block at the 38th minute.

The Desert Foxes struck at the 40th minute after William Troost-Ekong, who got the winner against South Africa, netted into his own net off a cross from Mahrez.

Algeria went into the half-time break well in control of proceedings as they continued to threaten up front, while the Super Eagles had yet to test Rais M’Bohli.

Alex Iwobi had an early chance in the second half to get an equalizer for the Super Eagles, but Aissa Mandi did well to clear the ball off the line after Rais was well beaten.

Ten minutes later, Jude Ighalo came close to finding the equaliser with a header inside the box but his effort sailed over the crossbar.

On the other end, Adlene Guedioura lost his marker before directing a powerful header on goal, but lucky for the West Africans as Jamilu Collins was well-positioned to clear off the line.

With Nigeria pressing for goals, they managed to claw themselves back into a tie when they were awarded a penalty after Real Betis midfielder Mandi handled in the area after speculative shot from Etebo.

Odion Ighalo stepped up and sent Rais the wrong way with a well-taken penalty at the 72nd minute.

Belaili nearly restored his side’s lead just two minutes later when he sent a shot over the bar from close range, with the Super Eagle’s defence ball watching.

Nigeria had a chance to grab the lead in the 85th minute when Collins got on the end of a corner kick and directed a header goalward, but Rais made an excellent one-handed save to push the ball away to safety.

A moment of genius from the Riyad Mahrez that came on at the end of the action was to dictate the outcome with a freekick that went past the defensive wall and into the back of the net.

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