Reaching AFCON final is unbelievable – Riyad Mahrez

Reaching AFCON final is unbelievable – Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez of Algeria celebrates goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Semifinal football match between Algeria and Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 14 July 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Jul 15, 2019. 13:00

Riyad Mahrez has described Algeria’s qualification for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final as “unbelievable”.

The Manchester City winger was the key attacking figure for the North Africans in their 2-1 win over Nigeria on Sunday night.

His deflected cross late in the first half forced an own goal from William Troost-Ekong to open the scoring in his team’s favour, while Mahrez stepped up in the fifth minute of injury time after the 90 to strike home a superb free kick and win the match with virtually the last kick of the game.

In between, the Super Eagles levelled through a penalty from Odion Ighalo (which was awarded via VAR).

Algeria will face Senegal – a team they have already beaten in the group stage at the AFCON – in the final in Cairo on Friday night.

After his man-of-the-match performance, Mahrez said: "It was a very tough game today against a strong team.

"We were one goal up and were in control before VAR's decision – they scored the penalty and in the last minute we converted our free-kick.

"We are very happy because to be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations is something unbelievable.

"I think we have been very good in this tournament. We scored 12 goals and conceded two, that is the source of our confidence.

"We are looking forward to the final against Senegal. We played them in the group stage and we are expecting another tough game."

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