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Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria beat Senegal to win final

Algeria's only effort of note all game was the heavily deflected shot in the second minute that ultimately proved to be the winner

Algeria’s only effort of note all game was the heavily deflected shot in the second minute that ultimately proved to be the winner

Algeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time as a freak early goal secured a 1-0 win against Senegal in the final in Cairo.

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

Senegal, who have never won the competition, were awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review.

Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.

Senegal’s players collapsed on the pitch in tears at the final whistle.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, who said before the game he would swap his Champions League winners medal for Africa Cup of Nations success, looked disconsolate as Algeria players celebrated around him.

Senegal, making only their second appearance in the final since 2002, dominated for large periods but struggled to make the most of their possession.

M’Baye Niang was at the centre of two of their best chances as he flashed a fierce drive over the bar just before the break, and rounded keeper Rais M’bolhi early in the second half only to shoot wide from a tight angle.

M’Bolhi also did well to palm over a stinging effort from Youssouf Sabaly.

The decisive moment for Senegal was the reversal of the decision to award a penalty on the hour mark.

Ismaila Sarr’s cross was blasted straight at Adlene Guedioura’s arm, referee Neant Alioum pointed to the spot, but, just as the Senegal players started celebrating the decision, he quickly indicated that a VAR review was under way.

After watching the replays on the pitch-side monitor, which clearly showed Guedioura’s arm being by his side, Alioum reversed the decision.

Although the decision was correct, the result was harsh on Senegal, with Algeria managing only one shot on goal.

Premier League stars fail to shine

Riyad Mahrez<!–

Both Mane and Mahrez scored three goals in the Africa Cup of Nations

The game was billed by many as a battle between Liverpool’s Mane and Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, but both were on the periphery of this encounter.

Mahrez’s lack of contribution was largely down to Algeria’s defensive approach after taking the lead, but Mane will perhaps be disappointed with his input.

He was clearly the player Algeria fans feared most – every touch of the ball was met with boos – but he showed only glimpses of his pace and danger on the ball, possibly showing the signs of fatigue following a long season for club and country.

It is 363 days since Mane began pre-season with Liverpool – and he will only have a couple of weeks rest before the new campaign gets under way on 9 August.

Live Text

Match ends, Senegal 0, Algeria 1.

Second Half ends, Senegal 0, Algeria 1.

Attempt blocked. Salif Sané (Senegal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Adlène Guédioura (Algeria) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by Adlène Guédioura (Algeria).

Salif Sané (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Islam Slimani (Algeria).

Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mehdi Zeffane (Algeria).

Aissa Mandi (Algeria) is shown the yellow card.

Sadio Mané (Senegal) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Algeria).

Salif Sané (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Islam Slimani (Algeria).

Substitution, Algeria. Islam Slimani replaces Baghdad Bounedjah.

Attempt missed. Krépin Diatta (Senegal) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is too high from a direct free kick.

Keita (Senegal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Mehdi Zeffane (Algeria).

Foul by Mbaye Diagne (Senegal).

Djamel Benlamri (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal).

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Salif Sané (Senegal).

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution, Senegal. Keita replaces M’Baye Niang.

Substitution, Algeria. Mehdi Tahrat replaces Sofiane Feghouli.

Krépin Diatta (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Algeria).

Lamine Gassama (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Baghdad Bounedjah (Algeria).

Substitution, Algeria. Yacine Brahimi replaces Youcef Belaïli.

Attempt missed. Ismaila Sarr (Senegal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Senegal. Conceded by Ismael Bennacer.

Mbaye Diagne (Senegal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adlène Guédioura (Algeria).

Lamine Gassama (Senegal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lamine Gassama (Senegal).

Ismael Bennacer (Algeria) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Idrissa Gueye (Senegal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Senegal).

Africa Cup of Nations: Algeria beat Senegal to win final

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