Senegal & Algeria will contest the AFCON 2019 final in Egypt after a dramatic pair of semifinals that could have easily gone the other way.
What are the major talking points from an action-packed Super Sunday?
Senegal will be wary of penalties 🥅
The Lions of Teranga won't be overly confident if they're given a penalty against Algeria. Or, worse yet, the match goes to a shootout. Sadio Mane, their star turn, has missed two penalties in the tournament already and when Henri Saivet stepped up in his place with 80 minutes on the clock against Tunisia, he also failed from the spot.
That being said, Senegalese keeper Alfred Gomis had denied Tunisia from the spot just ten minutes prior, and he may be feeling privately confident.
Mahrez is world-class when it matters 🎯
It's been a relatively quiet tournament for the Algeria skipper, but Mahrez magic got the Desert Foxes through to the final with virtually the last kick of the game against Nigeria.
On the grand stages, margins between victory and defeat are slim, and Mahrez made sure that Algeria was on the right side of destiny with a miraculous free-kick to remove the possibility of penalties.
"THE MINDBLOWING MAHREZ HAS DONE IT, ALGERIA ARE THROUGH!"— SuperSport ⚽️🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 14, 2019
It's heartbreak for the #SuperEagles and jubilation for #LesFennecs as Riiyad Mahrez's 94th minute free-kick sends Algeria into the final of #AFCOn2019 pic.twitter.com/PaoRDDjCtc
Senegal is not a one-man team 🇸🇳
Three consecutive 1-0 wins at a major tournament are nothing to be scoffed at, and that run will certainly give Senegal hope that they can go all the way and claim their maiden AFCON crown. They say that a sign of a good team is winning while not playing at their best, and perhaps that is true of Senegal's extra-time semifinal win against Tunisia.
For all of Senegal's attacking talents including talisman Mane, it's their functional midfield unit and central defensive pairing that has contributed to their run of three clean sheet wins.
Nigeria is back in the big time 🦅
The Super Eagles will be bitterly disappointed at the manner in which they succumbed to Algeria and Mahrez's late heroics, but they should be proud of their efforts in 2019 on Egyptian soil. After missing the last two editions of the tournament, it was imperative that a nation the size of Nigeria returned to the fold, and a semifinal appearance is something they can build upon with their mostly young, talented squad. With Samuel Chukwueze, Alex Iwobi and Wilfred Ndidi all 22 or younger, the future is in good hands.
Where will you be watching the AFCON final and who's your money on?
Follow AFCON news updated regularly on futaa.com
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