Senegal take on Algeria in the AFCON 2019 final. The two teams will battle it out for African football’s top prize in Cairo on Friday.
The Desert Foxes took the lead in their semi-final match against Nigeria thanks to a first half own goal. A penalty from Odion Ighalo drew the scores level on 70 minutes.
The match looked destined for extra-time however Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez curled in a dramatic 95th minute free-kick to send Algeria into their first Africa Cup of Nations final since 1990.
Senegal were also the beneficiaries of an own goal in their semi-final match against Tunisia. After a goalless 90 minutes, Dylan Bronn put the ball into his own net in extra-time to ensure the Lions of Teranga a spot in the final.
Senegal have scored eight goals at this year’s tournament and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been in fantastic form, contributing three goals.
They have only conceded on one occasion so far and coincidentally, their sole loss came against final opponents Algeria.
The two teams met in Group C in the second round of matches and, despite having less shots and less possession, Algeria came away with a 1-0 victory.
Algeria remain unbeaten so far in the tournament. They qualified from the group stage with maximum points and swept past Guinea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria in the knockout stage to reach the final.
The Desert Foxes are averaging two goals per game with Riyad Mahrez and Adam Ounas each bagging three AFCON 2019 goals.
Ounas will not line up against his Napoli teammate Kalidou Koulibaly in the final. The Senegal defender is suspended having picked up two yellow cards across the three knockout matches.
As one of the continent’s top players, Koulibaly will be a huge miss for Senegal and the likes of Mahrez and Ounas will see it as a great opportunity to add to their goalscoring tallies.
Algeria start as slight favorites for this tie and the head to head record between the teams backs up their authority.
Algeria have defeated Senegal on thirteen occasions whilst the Lions of Teranga have registered just four wins in reply.
PREDICTION : DRAW 1-1
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