In the 2-minute of the first half the Algerians had shot on target by Baghdad Bounedjah’s but was deflected by the Senegalese Salif Sane that made the ball ballooned into the net of the Senegalese goal post. This meant that the Algerians had an early lead. Algerians have won AFCON two times in 1990 and 2019. Algerians were in jubilant mood, partying and practically running here and there with excessive smiles.
The Algerians were able to hold the Senegalese onslaught till 92-minutes with that one goal lead. There were occasions that Senegalese broke free to score but were held by the Algerians.
Sarr and M’Baye Niang missed chances that could have made at least Senegal to equalise. Senegal Sadio Mane and Algeria Riyad Mahrez were kept out of the match by both teams making them incapable for them to have their day.
Aditionally, Algerians were awarded a penalty opportunity when the Ismaila Sarr crossed the ball against Adlene Guedioura’s hand in close proximity but after a VAR review, referee Neaant Alioum, the decided to restart the game with a drop ball.
“If you told me the match would have unfolded as it did, I would have bitten your hand off,” Belmadi admitted. “We had a special strategy. We were organised, solid and we didn’t press high.”
“I think over the course of the match, we deserved to equalise,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, although he warmly congratulated his childhood friend Belmadi.
“Communicating that I wanted to win the AFCON early in my stint was me sending a signal to my players, to get them in the right mindset,” said Belmadi, who took the national team job only last August.
“I’m so happy for my people,” Belmadi said. “They’ve waited so long for this. A first AFCON won outside our country. It’s incredible, especially when you consider where we were 10 months ago.”