Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Own goal hands Senegal place in Africa Cup of Nations final

Mahrez and Mane miss out on AFCON semi-final combined XI HomeAFCON 2019 Mahrez and Mane miss out on AFCON semi-final combined XI Adebanjo Ogunseye 0
Shannon Reynolds | 15 July, 2019, 12:59

Here, AFP Sport looks at the semi-finals with Algeria and Senegal wary favourites given the number of shocks in the knockout phase of the premier African competition.

The semi-finals pairings suggest a battle between North Africa and West Africa: Senegal face Tunisia as Algeria take on Nigeria.

Senegal will be trying to win the title for the first time when they come up against Tunisia.

Senegal are the highest-ranked African country on the Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking.

Senegal players celebrate after their African Cup of Nations semi-final soccer match against Tunisia in Cairo on Sunday. "It will be great to do that, but we have to beat Nigeria first and then win the final." he concluded. "We are second", said the German.

The two teams also missed a penalty each in the second half of the encounter.

"We kept our concentration until the end", Djamel Belmadi, Algeria's head coach, said.

"All four semi-finalists are quality sides and all can go on and win this competition". They are a unsafe team and we have to be cautious.

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- Nigeria midfielders Peter Etebo (46) and Wilfred Ndidi (41) have won possession more times than any other outfield players at the AFCON. "So, thank God we made it".

Regarding the match itself, Belmadi said his team should have scored more than one goal in the first half but lost their way a little before fighting back.

Journalists from the respective countries joined in the verbal exchange.

"We played too deep, we didn't put enough pressure on the opponents", he said. "It is the referee who decides on what is foul play and what is not foul play".

"It's a great message that we have sent to those responsible for football in all countries in Africa, it's fantastic", Belmadi told the media.

"We will do our best to make our people happy".

"Yes we won at home, have had great players and played in the World Cup". It is a measure of their depth in this tournament that should Mahrez fail, they can call on 22-year-old Napoli striker Adam Ounas who has scored three times already from just 87 minutes on the pitch.

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