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Algeria won the African Nations Cup with a desperate early goal – Zimbabwean Mail

Algeria won the African Nations Cup for the second time on Friday when a second-second goal from Baghdad Bunheja gave them a 1-0 victory over the gallant Senegal in the final.

Bounedjah, who missed a penalty kick in the quarter-finals against Cote d'Ivoire and spent the last few minutes in tears after being replaced, stunned the Teranga lions with a shot that took a vicious diversion from Salif Sane and shifted over the confused. goalkeeper Alfred Gomis and the net.

Algeria, which made 32 fouls according to official match statistics, then relaxed and had to give up its victory in a game that was certainly not classical but was tense and fascinating.

Senegal, defeated by Cameroon in their only previous participation in the 2002 final, was awarded a handball penalty in the second half but the decision was canceled following a VAR review.

The last play caused wild celebrations among the Algerian traveling fans' large contingent. It was a good end of a tournament, with 24 teams for the first time producing an abundant drama, although sometimes lacking in quality.

"This is difficult," said Algerian coach Jamel Belmadi, who rebuilded the team's contract after a storming period of seven coaches in three years.

"I am very, very happy for the country, for the people who have been waiting for this long time. This is the first time we have won him out of our country, it's just extraordinary.

"They say you're not playing finals, you win them, I really do not believe that," he added. "We have prepared and wanted to play against this talented team, Senegal. It was not our best match. We did not own the ball and did not impose our game. "

Senegal was missing Calidou Kulibali, probably the best defender of Africa, through interruption, and his absence was quickly felt.

The game became an extraordinary start when Bounedjah gathered the ball, exploded forward and opened a shot that deflected Sane.

Gomis was rooted in his place, as if he thought the ball was coming out, but he was running down the bar.

But Algeria leaned back and let Senegal return to the game.

In the second half, when Ismaila Sarr dropped to the right and fired in the middle, Ismaila Sarr dropped.

He hit Adlene Guedioura's hand and, although it seemed impossible for the Algerians to get out of the way, the referee pointed to the place but then changed his mind after a VAR review.

Algeria left soon after. Cheikhou Kouyate sent a clear pass to the top corner of Mbaye Niang, but the ball was stilled by Rais Mbolhi but he fired the ball into the net.

Youssouf Sabaly then produces an evil immersion shot that Mbolhi did well to roll over the bar before Sarr fought for his mercy.

"We did too early," said Senegal coach Ali Cisse, who played in the 2002 winning team and grew up in the same Paris neighborhood as his counterpart.

"I think we deserve to be equal in the course of the match. Tonight I wanted to congratulate my players. We are here for 46 days. We wanted it, but it was not our night.

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