Mahrez’s last gasp stunner sends Algeria to Afcon final

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Riyad Mahrez scored a sensational stoppage-time winner to send Algeria to the Africa Cup of Nations final with a 2-1 win over Nigeria.

Algeria who started the game as second favourite to win it, dominated the contest from the beginning and they created plenty of early chances against the Super Eagles.

Ramy Bensebaini came close in the opening minutes with his thumping header went just over the bar. Bagdad Boundjah squandered a huge opportunity to open the scoring before he was denied by Nigeria keeper Daniel Akpeyi.

With five minutes left in the first half Algeria took a deserved lead when Troost-Ekong turned Mahrez’s deflected cross into his own net from close range.

Both the teams started second half with added determination but they failed to create clear cut chances. However after ten minutes from the hour mark, Nigeria equalised through Ighalo after Aissa Mandi was penalised, following a VAR review, for handling Peter Etebo’s shot.

A fierce shot hit the arm of Aissa Mandi, and after a quick review, a penalty was given. Odion Ighalo stepped up and made no mistake.

The match seemed to go to extra-time, but Algeria rallied in emphatic fashion in the final minutes to settle the game in full time itself as Ismaël Bennacer took aim from 35 yards and saw his effort crash against the woodwork.

Algeria sharpened their attack, they raided the Nigerian area continuously with Sofiane Feghouli wasting a chance just outside the penalty box.

With 95 minutes on the clock, Manchester City’s Mahrez stepped up and curled the ball into the top left corner from the set piece, virtually the last kick if the match to seal a first final appearance for Les Vertes since 1990.

In final, Algeria will take on Senegal who overcame the challenge of Tunisia 1-0 in extra time thanks to an own goal by Dylan Bronn.

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