AFCON: How Riyad Mahrez’s Late Free-Kick Took Algeria into Final

Riyad Mahrez scored a last-minute to stoppage-time free-kick to end Algeria-Nigeria semi-final match on Sunday in favour of Algeria.

The late direct free-kick from Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez was enough to take Algeria through to Friday’s CAN 2019 final where they face Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria had managed to claw themselves back into a tie via the penalty spot in a game where they were outclassed by the Desert Foxes for large spells before Real Betis defender Mandi handled in the area after a Etebo speculative drive.

The Zambian match official consulted VAR and it appears that any hand in the area, however innocuous, unintentional etc is now deemed to be worthy of a spot kick.

Ighalo dispatched the penalty and gave some hope to a Nigeria side lacking creative sparkle up until that point.

Ultimately, a moment of genius from the City player in time added on at the end of the action was to dictate the outcome with a free-kick that Lionel Messi would have been proud of.

Algeria will have a date with Senegal on Friday’s final match of the ongoing African Cup of Nation 2019. 

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