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AFCON 2019: Algeria Crowned Champions

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Baghdad Bounedjah's shot took a huge deflection off Senegal’s defender Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.
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An early deflected goal was enough to give the Desert Fennecs of Algeria victory in the 2019 Total Africa Cup of nations (AFCON) final against Senegal on Friday night at the Cairo International Stadium.

Baghdad Bounedjah's shot took a huge deflection off Senegal’s defender Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.

But Senegal also had a penalty awarded in the second half, only for the video review (VAR) to overturn the decision.

Senegal’s M'Baye Niang also had two good scoring chances but shot wide.

It was Algeria’s second AFCON title after winning the first in 1990. As Algerian players celebrated the win, the Senegal players collapsed on the pitch in tears at the final whistle.

“It was not our day. We played against a good team but it hurts to suffer defeat to the same side twice in the same tournament,” said Senegal’s star player Sadio Mane, winner of the 2019 UEFA Champions League with Liverpool FC.

Algerian coach Djamel Belmadi whose team won all six games and drew once against Ivory Coast before winning in penalties praised the players for being determined to prove a point. "Without the players I am nothing. The players applied the instructions incredibly well," said a happy Belmadi.

Algeria’s captain and Manchester City player Riyad Mahrez said it was one of his happiest moments in football. “It feels really good to be captain of the national team and win the AFCON,” added Mahrez who netted three goals in the tournament.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said the defeat was painful. “But I have to thank my players for playing their hearts out because we have not got to the final since 2002,” added Cisse, captain of the Senegal team in 2002.

In the Group stages Algeria beat Kenya 2-0, stopped Senegal 1-0 before seeing off Tanzania 3-0. The Desert Fennecs saw off Guinea 3-0 in the Group of 16 before winning 4-3 against Ivory Coast after a 1-1 draw at the quarter final stage. They needed a late goal to beat Nigeria 2-1 in the semi finals.

Besides the trophy, Algeria take home a cash prize of Ug Shs16.6 billion (US$4.5 million), while the Senegal win Ug Shs 7.38 billion (US$2 million).

Uganda Cranes reached the Stage of 16 where they lost to Senegal 1-0. All the other teams from the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi fell out at the group stage.

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