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It’s the African Cup of Nations final and Algeria lock horns against Senegal for the biggest prize in African football.
Algeria defeated Nigeria 2-1 in the Semi-final thanks to the last-kick minute goal from Riyad Mahrez who scored a sublime free-kick to dent Nigeria’s hope.
Senegal however defeated Tunisia 1-0 following an own goal in extra time.
It’s going to be a very tough one as Senegal are yet to win this prize before and the last time they got to the final was 17 years ago where they lost to Cameroon. They will now play their second AFCON final in history.
Algeria meanwhile have only won it once in 1990 in a 1-0 win over Nigeria. This year’s final is Algeria’s third final in history (1980; 0-3 defeat to Nigeria, 1990; 1-0 win over Nigeria, 2019; to play against Senegal)
Algeria are yet to lose in four AFCON games against Senegal, they’ve won three and drawn one, they faced off earlier in the group stage of this tournament where Algeria triumphed 1-0.
Senegal star Sadio Mane has attempted 34 dribbles in the competition and has completed 20 of those.
Algeria have nine players who have been involved in at least one goal in the tournament so far (this is excluding own goals).
Algerian government has reportedly subsidised about 5, 600 plane tickets for fans to watch the final and this may be to an advantage for Algeria as the will have more support at the stadium plus the Egyptian fans who are linked together from North Africa.
Senegal will be without key defender Kalidou Koulibaly who is suspended after he picked up a second yellow card against Tunisia in the Semi-final. This is a big blow for the Senegalese side.
Algeria have played six games so far in this tournament and are unbeaten in those games with five wins and one draw, scoring 12 goals. They beat Guinea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria in the knockout stages prior to this stage.
Senegal meanwhile have played six matches with four wins, one draw and one loss, that loss was against Algeria in the group stage, scoring a total of eight goals. They beat Uganda, Benin and Tunisia in the knockout stages prior to this stage.
It remains to be seen where the game will end. The time is by 8:00pm GMT+1 at Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.
In other news, the draw for the 2021 AFCON qualifier has been made and there are a total of 48 countries grouped into 12 groups and two teams will qualify per group.
Nigeria have been drawn against Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Benin Republic in Group L.
Cameroon will host what is meant to be the 33rd edition of the competition and they will also participate in the qualifier though they have automatic qualification and they’ve been drawn against Mozambique, Cape Verde and Rwanda.
Meanwhile, Amaju Pinnick, the Nigeria Football Federation president has left the position of the first Vice-President of CAF, a position he took up in July 2018 following the resignation of Kwesi Nyantakyi from Ghana who was found guilty of corrupt practices.
Congo’s Constant Omari has now taken up the position as the First Vice-President, Morocco’s Faouzi Lekjaa is the second Vice-President and Danny Jordaan from South Africa took up the third Vice-Presidential role.