Algeria beat Senegal to win Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria beat Senegal to win Africa Cup of Nations
Algeria erupted in celebration as the country won the Africa Cup of Nations.
2 min read
20 July, 2019
Algeria lifted the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 30 years [Getty]

Algeria erupted in celebration on Friday, after the national football team won the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt for the first time in three decades.

Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 in the final, with a deflected goal in the opening seconds by striker Baghdad Bounedjah whose shot was deflected off Senegal defender Salif Sane and went over goalkeeper Alfred Gomis.

The winning goal - timed at 79 seconds - was also the fastest in an African Cup final for near four decades.

When the final whistle blew, fans and players at the Cairo International Stadium erupted into celebration.

"My people have waited a long time," said Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, a former Algeria player. 

"I'm very happy even if it is difficult to express. I'm tired, it's true, and it is difficult to show my emotions but when I rest my happiness will appear."

Senegal has never won the African Cup and there were high hopes the country could do so this year with Liverpool winger Sadio Mane.

"This is a different generation and Algeria won," said manager Aliou Cisse. "They seized an opportunity and they scored."

Senegal were left bitterly disappointed when they were awarded a penalty in the second half and then had it taken away following a Video Assistant Referee review.

Cameroonian ref Alioum Alioum penalised Algeria's Adlane Guedioura for handball but changed his decision after consulting VAR, which is being used at the African Cup for the first time.

Algeria was captained by Riyad Mahrez, who plays for English Premier League title-winning team, Manchester City, who lifted the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday.

Thousands of Algerians made the trip to Egypt for the final, amid heavy security.

The Algeria squad and coach Belmadi kneeled down and prayed as they faced the supporters. Belmadi, who took over as coach less than a year ago, will return home a national hero.

Over in Algeria, thousands of fans packed the capital Algiers were celebrations went on through the night.

In Paris, the French-Algerians also took to the streets waving Algeria fans.