Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy.
Senegal lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, and the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of 2002 runners-up again fell short in the final, Voice of Nigeria reports.
Senegal were missing Kalidou Koulibaly, arguably Africa’s best defender, through suspension and his absence was quickly felt.
Algeria sat back and allowed Senegal to claw their way back into the game.
They had a major let-off in the second half when Ismaila Sarr burst down the right and fired a low cross into the middle.
Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.
Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algerian keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.
The final whistle provoked wild celebrations among the large contingent of travelling Algeria fans. It was a fitting end to a tournament that, with 24 teams for the first time, produced plentiful drama.
Player of the tournament
Algeria’s Ismael Bennacer was named best player of the tournament. The 21-year-old has been awarded with the accolade after a string of solid performances, as his country emerged as African champions.
Ismael Bennacer, AFCON 2019 Player of the Tournament
In seven games, Bennacer had three assists and two 'man of the match' awards, with 12 successful dribbles and 10 tackles won in the competition.
Golden Boot winner
Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo won the Golden Boot Award as the highest goalscorer in the tournament with five goals.