Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria’s Baghdad Bounedjah is embraced by coach Djamel Belmadi after he is substituted off, as his goal was enough to secure Algeria a second Africa Cup of Nations win. (Reuters)
Updated 20 July 2019

Algeria sink Senegal in fiery final to claim second Africa Cup of Nations

  • Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute
  • For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on

CAIRO: 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman telephoned Algeria’s interim president Abdelkader Bensalah to congratulate him on Algeria’s African Cup of Nations win, with Bensalah thanking the king for his phone call.


Sensational Stokes stars as England beat Australia by one wicket to win third Test

Updated 38 min 53 sec ago

Sensational Stokes stars as England beat Australia by one wicket to win third Test

  • Stokes’s astonishing 135 not out saw England complete their highest successful fourth innings chase as they squared the series at 1-1
  • Australia missed a clear chance to run Leach out when Nathan Lyon failed to gather a throw

LEEDS: Ben Stokes was the hero yet again as his incredible unbeaten century saw England to a thrilling one-wicket win in the third Ashes Test at Headingley on Sunday.
England — all out for a woeful 67 in their first innings — were 286-9, still needing 73 more runs to reach a victory target of 359 when bespectacled No 11 Jack Leach walked out to bat to join Stokes at the crease.
Leach, however, held firm with World Cup final winning batting star Stokes’s astonishing 135 not out seeing England complete their highest successful fourth innings chase as they squared the five-match series at 1-1.


“There’s nothing like being out there in the end and getting your team over the line. I didn’t get nervous till we needed single figures, I didn’t know what to do then,” admitted Stokes.
Australia, who would have retained the Ashes had they won, missed a clear chance to run Leach out when Nathan Lyon failed to gather a throw and then paid dearly for squandering a review.
All-rounder Stokes eventually flayed fast bowler Pat Cummins for four to seal a famous victory arguably even more improbable than England’s celebrated 1981 Ashes Test success at Headingley when they won after following-on.
This was only the fourth time a team had made more than 300 to win in the fourth innings of a Test at Headingley.
“It was a very special feeling. Stokesy was unbelievable. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. And the crowd was insane,” admitted Leach.
Australia captain Tim Paine said: “It’s hard to take, losing that from that position but you tip your hat sometimes.
“Ben Stokes played an unbelievable innings and in the end he was too good for us.”
As Leach looked on, all-rounder Stokes went into one-day mode by driving off-spinner Lyon for two straight sixes and then produced a stunning reverse against him that sailed high over deep point.
Stokes’s extravagant scooped six off Cummins reduced the target to 40.
Despite Australia captain Tim Paine having scattered all his fielders to the boundary, Stokes pulled Josh Hazlewood for four to complete a remarkable 199 ball-century — his second in a row after his 115 not out in the drawn second Test at Lord’s — featuring eight fours and five sixes.
Stokes then hoisted the next two balls for six.
He rode his luck when a sliced two off Cummins was dropped by a diving Marcus Harris at third man.
Stokes, however, commandingly pulled and drove Cummins’s next two balls for for four to leave England just nine runs shy of victory.

 

But a single left Leach on strike with two balls left in the over.
The first of those sailed over Leach’s head and the next saw Australia waste a review for a ball that pitched outside leg stump.
England now needed eight — or two boundaries — as Stokes faced Leach.
The third ball of the over saw Stokes drive Lyon for a six that just cleared Marnus Labuschagne at long-on and England needed two to win.
A colossal mix-up between Stokes and Leach should have seen the No 11 run out but Lyon fumbled the return.
Lyon then had an lbw appeal against Stokes turned down by umpire Joel Wilson only for replays to suggest it would have been out.
But Australia had used up all their reviews.
England still needed two to win but Leach, who made a career best 92 as nightwatchman in a recent Test win over Ireland, was on strike to Cummins.
Leach though managed a single that tied the scores as he got off the mark after 59 minutes at the crease.
And Stokes then cut Cummins for a boundary to seal an astounding triumph.
The left-handed batsman faced 219 balls in total, with 11 fours and eight sixes in a superbly paced five-and-a-half hour inninngs.
It seemed England’s chances had evaporated when they lost three wickets for just 16 runs after lunch to be reeling at 261-7.
England had yet to add to their overnight score of 156-3 when Stokes missed a pull off a Hazlewood bouncer that smashed into his helmet, with the stem guard protecting his neck flying off at the back.
But he was cleared to bat on and when captain Joe Root was out for 77 after adding just two to his overnight score Stokes, ably assisted by Jonny Bairstow (36) counter-attacked, with England scoring 60 runs in eight overs after Australia took the new ball.