Senegal 0 Algeria 1: Deflected early Bounedjah goal enough for AFCON glory

By Sports Desk July 19, 2019

Algeria became Africa Cup of Nations champions for a second time as they edged Senegal 1-0 in a scrappy final on Friday.

Djamel Belmadi's side needed a sensational last-gasp Riyad Mahrez winner to beat Nigeria in the last four, but it was a scrappy early strike that decided this clash as Baghdad Bounedjah benefited from a huge deflection.

Further chances were few and far between in an ill-tempered affair as Algeria withstood almost constant pressure and also saw a Senegal penalty award overturned with VAR.

The single goal ultimately proved enough to hold on, Algeria triumphing on foreign soil for the first time to add to their 1990 success as hosts.

Algeria's fortuitous opener arrived inside two minutes. Bounedjah cut inside from the left and saw a powerful strike loop up off the lunging Salif Sane, dropping over static goalkeeper Alfred Gomis into the top-right corner.

Senegal responded well, getting into dangerous positions and winning countless free-kicks, mainly through Sadio Mane, but their final ball was repeatedly found wanting.

Frustrations threatened to boil over late in the first half, with Mane escaping punishment for an off-the-ball shove on Sofiane Feghouli, although M'Baye Niang went close with a fizzing long-range drive.

The two sides came together to confront the referee at the break - Senegal bemoaning a non-penalty award for Ismaila Sarr - and Algeria substitute goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja went down claiming contact in the ensuing fracas.

And Senegal were further infuriated on the hour mark when a spot-kick initially awarded as Adlene Guedioura blocked Sarr's cross with his arm was struck off following a VAR review.

Niang rounded Rais M'bolhi but could only blaze high and wide, before the goalkeeper turned Youssouf Sabaly's blast over the crossbar.

Aliou Cisse's side kept pushing, yet there was no way through and Algeria clung to a scarcely deserved victory.

Related items

  • Nzonzi leaving Roma for Galatasaray loan Nzonzi leaving Roma for Galatasaray loan

    Steven Nzonzi is to join Galatasaray on an initial season-long loan, Roma have confirmed.

    The Turkish Super Lig champions have the option to sign the World Cup-winning midfielder for €16million before June 30 next year.

    They can also extend the loan by another season for €500,000, after which they will retain a purchase option of €13m valid until June 30, 2021.

    "The club would like to wish Steven the best of luck for the future," Roma said in a statement.

    Nzonzi joined Roma from Sevilla for an initial fee of €26.65m last year, a month after his World Cup triumph with France in Russia.

    He made 30 appearances in Serie A last season, scoring once, as the Giallorossi finished sixth.

  • Neymar returns to Brazil squad after injury lay-off Neymar returns to Brazil squad after injury lay-off

    Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been named in Brazil's squad for September friendlies against Colombia and Peru.

    The 27-year-old returns for his national side after missing out on selection for the 2019 Copa America through injury.

    Neymar ruptured ligaments in his ankle in a pre-tournament friendly against Qatar on June 5 and has not featured for club or country since, but Brazil coped well in his absence as they lifted the trophy on home soil.

    PSG sporting director Leonardo revealed on Thursday the forward's injury has "completely healed", however, and a return to action appears imminent, even if speculation over his future persists amid links to Real Madrid and former club Barcelona.

     

    Neymar is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by uncapped Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior, who was overlooked for Copa America selection by Tite due to an ankle injury, while Flamengo's Bruno Henrique is in line to make his senior debut.

    There is no place for injured Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, with Ivan being called up to provide cover for Ederson and Weverton.

    Santos left-back Jorge is also included for the games with Colombia on September 6 and Peru on September 10, as is Udinese's Samir, while Madrid defender Marcelo is among the absentees.


    Brazil squad in full:

    Ederson (Manchester City), Ivan (Ponte Preta), Weverton (Palmeiras); Dani Alves (Sao Paulo), Fagner (Corinthians), Jorge (Santos), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Samir (Udinese), Alex Sandro (Juventus); Allan (Napoli), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona); Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Bruno Henrique (Flamengo), David Neres (Ajax), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Richarlison (Everton), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid). 

  • Naby Keita out of Liverpool trip to Southampton with hip injury Naby Keita out of Liverpool trip to Southampton with hip injury

    Liverpool will again be without the injured Naby Keita when they visit Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.

    Guinea international Keita has not recovered in time from a hip muscle strain suffered before the UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea.

    The midfielder was an unused substitute during last Friday's league win against Norwich City at Anfield and manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed there is no timescale for his return.

    "[He's] not available. It's a muscle thing," Klopp said when asked about the 24-year-old at his pre-match news conference.

    "We don't know exactly how long it will take, but he's not available."

    Keita is not Liverpool's only fitness concern, with goalkeeper Adrian potentially set to join Alisson on the sidelines.

    The Spaniard was left nursing a swollen ankle after a fan slipped and collided with him amid the on-pitch celebrations in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    Klopp will have to carefully assess his troops ahead of a third game in eight days, a schedule that does not sit comfortably with the German.

    "My plan when I heard about the fixtures was to win on Wednesday, to win on Saturday, then speak about it after that," he said.

    "If you speak about it earlier it sounds like you're looking for excuses. I don't, we don't [want to make excuses].

    "Was it right that we played on Friday and Chelsea on Sunday? No. That's the situation, we cannot change these things.

    "We have no power. We can only accept it. Now we don't think about it, we don't think about Wednesday night, we think about Saturday.

    "That's what we have to do - find a way to win the game. That's the reason why we go there and that's possible, so that's what we will try."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.