Late Mahrez Free-kick Sends Algeria Into Can 2019 Final
Nigeria has crashed out of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after the Desert Warrior of Algeria beat the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 to advance to the final.
A late direct free-kick from Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez was enough to take Algeria through to Friday’s CAN 2019 final where they face Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium.
The Super Eagles had managed to claw themselves back into a tie via the penalty spot in a game where they were outclassed by the Desert Foxes for large spells before Real Betis defender Mandi handled in the area after a Etebo speculative drive.
The Zambian match official consulted VAR and it appears that any hand in the area, however innocuous, unintentional etc is now deemed to be worthy of a spot kick. Ighalo dispatched the penalty and gave some hope to a Nigeria side lacking creative sparkle up until that point.
Oghenekaro Etebo fired a long-range effort which was blocked by Aissa Mandi, however, after referee Bakary Papa Gassama consulted with the VAR, Mandi was adjudged to have handled the ball in his area.
The Super Eagles were awarded a penalty and Odion Ighalo dispatched his effort from the spot to bring the Super Eagles back into contention.
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr introduced Galatasaray forward Henry Onuekuru for Chukwueze in the 78th minute as the Super Eagles searched for the winning goal.
In additional time, Manchester City winger Mahrez scored the decisive goal with a well-taken free-kick to help the Desert Foxes into the final.
The Desert Foxes will slug it out with Senegal in the final of the continental competition at Cairo International Stadium on Friday.