Riyaaz Mahrez’s magical freekick has. propelled Algeria to the Final of the 2019 Total African Cup of Nations in Egypt after Odion Ighalo had cancelled out William Troost-Ekong’s own goal in a semifinal that may as well be the best game of the tournament.
Baghdad Bounedjah woefully failed to guide a cross into the Nigerian near post and was later denied by Akpeyi after Kenneth Omeruo had gifted the Algerian Striker who mounted a successful ambush to steal the ball but his shot was feeble and predictable.
Algeria found the net before the break. Riyaaz Mahrez expertly displaced Jamilu before laying s cross that ricketchetted off the chest of William Troost-Ekong into his goal.
The Super eagles looked like a more rejuvinated side after the recess. Iwobi Shot into the arms of Raïs Mbholi and Nigeria continued to charge into the Algerian defence until the Super eagles were rewarded with a controversial penalty, after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) overturned the initial decision of the referee to rule against a hand ball. Odion Ighalo executed the spot kick to perfection to draw level for Nigeria. Both teams continued to have shots at goal within intervals.
Substitute Henry Onyekuru had a good shot at range and Algeria’s Bennacer hit the woodwork when he released a thunderbolt after running into the nigerian defensive space from about 24 yards.
Nigeria survived well until injury time when slippery Bennacer was brought down outside the right edge of the penalty box.
Riyaaz Mahrez showed why he is one Africa’s finest players on the continent.
The Manchester City winger effected a palatable freeckick that found the Left mid-corner of goal, beating Nigeria’s Daniel Akpeyi as the ball curled away from the jumping human wall.
Algeria reach the final for the first time since 17 years.
By: Dampte-Larbi Godfred | universnewsroom.com