AFCON 2019 Final Preview: Senegal vs Algeria

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In a few hours, we will find out who the champions of the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be.  It all started with the group stages where Africa’s best 24 football nations converged on Egypt to take part in the biggest football jamboree on the continent. Then some teams proved to be better than others and moved to the round of 16 and then to the quarterfinals.

Then came the semifinals where four major African titans, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Algeria wrestled among themselves with the sole aim of making it to the final and possibly lifting the most prestigious football trophy in Africa. Well, unfortunately, that dream ended for Tunisia and Nigeria at the semifinals. Senegal and Algeria on the other hand fought their way through to the final and in a few hours, one of them will walk away from Cairo as African champions and with 4 million US dollars.

The final between Senegal and Algeria comes up today Friday July 19, 2019 from 8:00 pm Cameroon time at the Cairo International Stadium. The Teranga lions of Senegal who have never tasted the AFCON glory will be hoping to do so for the first time ever since the history of AFCON. The only time they got to the final was in 2002 where they lost to Cameroon in a post-match penalty shootout.

Aliou Cisse who captained that squad to the final in 2002 is now the head coach of this present squad and this will be an opportunity for him to give his country this AFCON trophy after failing to do so 17 years ago.

The only time the Desert Foxes of Algeria won the competition was back in 1990 when they hosted. Before 1990, they got to the final in 1980 but failed to emerge victorious, losing to host Nigeria.

Both sides have met on 22 previous occasions including the group stages of this competition where Senegal lost to Algeria 0: 1. In all 22 meetings, Algeria has won 13 of the matches wile Senegal has won just 4; 5 games drawn.

Algeria led by Coach Djamel Belmadi and captained by Riyad Mahrez are favorites to beat Senegal today but make no mistake to rule out this Senegalese side that is ranked 1st on the continent and will be relying heavily on the prolific skills of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.

Meanwhile semifinal losers Tunisia and Nigeria played in a third place game on Wednesday at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo. The lone goal of the match from Ighalo helped Nigeria win the third place bronze medal.

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