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Algeria win 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

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By AFP
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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 Sadio Mane’s 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 on foreign soil for the first time.

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez (centre) receives the trophy from Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez (centre) receives the trophy from Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez (centre) receives the trophy from Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez (centre) receives the trophy from Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Algerian players celebrate after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algerian players celebrate after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFPAFP

Algeria's goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi (left) and Algeria's defender Rafik Halliche pose with their medals after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Algeria’s goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi (left) and Algeria’s defender Rafik Halliche pose with their medals after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Algerian players celebrate after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algerian players celebrate after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez celebrates after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez celebrates after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria's coach Djamel Belmadi is carried shoulder high by his players after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria’s coach Djamel Belmadi is carried shoulder high by his players after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria's forward Baghdad Bounedjah celebrates after scoring a goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria’s forward Baghdad Bounedjah celebrates after scoring a goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria's players and officials celebrate their opening goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

Algeria’s players and officials celebrate their opening goal during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | JAVIER SORIANO | AFP

For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.

It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.

With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.

Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.

As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.

An Algeria supporter waves the Egyptian flag ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | AFP

An Algeria supporter waves the Egyptian flag ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | AFP

Algerian fans cheer for their team prior to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algerian fans cheer for their team prior to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.

Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.

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Algeria's goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi makes a save during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria’s goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi makes a save during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

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 Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.

Algeria's midfielder Ismail Bennacer (left) vies for the ball with Senegal's Lamine Gassama during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Algeria’s midfielder Ismail Bennacer (left) vies for the ball with Senegal’s Lamine Gassama during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (centre) fights for the ball with Algeria's midfielder Adlene Guedioura (right) during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (centre) fights for the ball with Algeria’s midfielder Adlene Guedioura (right) during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.

Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.

Algerian fans cheer for their team under the moon during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algerian fans cheer for their team under the moon during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez drives the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria’s forward Riyad Mahrez drives the ball during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Algeria 1 (Bounedjah 2) Senegal 0

Rais Mbolhi; Mehdi Zeffane, Aissa Mandi, Djamel Benlamri, Ramy Bensebaini; Adlene Guedioura, Sofiane Feghouli (Mehdi Tahrat 85), Ismael Bennacer, Riyad Mahrez (capt); Youcef Belaili (Yacine Brahimi 84), Baghdad Bounedjah (Islam Slimani 89)

Coach: Djamel Belmadi (ALG)

Alfred Gomis; Lamine Gassama, Cheikhou Kouyate (capt), Salif Sane, Youssouf Sabaly; Idrissa Gueye, Badou Ndiaye (Krepin Diatta 59), Henri Saivet (Mbaye Diagne 75); Ismaila Sarr, Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang (Keita Balde 85)

Algeria: Bensebaini 34 minutes, Belaili 54 minutes, Guedioura 90+4 minutes

Senegal: Gueye 79 minutes, Gassama 80 minutes

Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (centre) is greeted by Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) and Fifa President Gianni Infantino following the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (centre) is greeted by Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (left) and Fifa President Gianni Infantino following the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal's coach Aliou Cisse (left) helps Senegal's forward Sadio Mane back to his feet after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal’s coach Aliou Cisse (left) helps Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane back to his feet after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal's forward Sadio Mane (centre) fights for the ball with Algeria's midfielder Adlene Guedioura (right) during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (centre) fights for the ball with Algeria’s midfielder Adlene Guedioura (right) during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Egyptian actress and singer Donia Samir Ghanem performs during the closing ceremony ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Egyptian actress and singer Donia Samir Ghanem performs during the closing ceremony ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Fifa President Gianni Infantino (centre) gestures next to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (right) and Egyptian Youth and Sports minister Ashraf Sobhy ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Fifa President Gianni Infantino (centre) gestures next to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad (right) and Egyptian Youth and Sports minister Ashraf Sobhy ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

Senegal supporters cheer ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Senegal supporters cheer ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Dancers perform during the closing ceremony ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

Dancers perform during the closing ceremony ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo on July 19, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI | AFP

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