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AFCON: Senegal so near  to championship yet so VAR for Algeria

Algeria 1-0 Senegal

Algeria edged Senegal 1-0 with dramatic late VAR twist in the Africa Cup of Nations final played on Friday evening at Cairo International Stadium.

Baghdad Bounedjah’s early strike with only two minutes inside the play saw Algeria become Africa Cup of Nations champions for a second time.

Algeria’s hero Bounedjah cut inside from the left-wing and saw a powerful strike loop up off the lunging Salif Sane, dropping over hapless goalkeeper Alfred Gomis into the top-right corner.

Senegal well with countless free-kicks and corner kicks mainly through Sadio Mane, but their final ball was repeatedly found wanting with Mbaye Niang wasting many chances.

Senegal was further infuriated on the hour mark when a spot-kick initially awarded as Adlene Guedioura blocked Sarr’s cross with his arm was struck off following a VAR review.

Niang later came close after rounding off goalie Rais M’bolhi but could only blaze high and wide, before the goalkeeper turned Youssouf Sabaly’s stunner over the crossbar.

Aliou Cisse’s side kept pushing, yet there was no way through and Algeria sailed to a scarcely deserved victory past the Lions of Teranga.

Algeria’s Ismail Bennacer was named the best player of Africa Cup of Nations thanks to his stellar performances in the entire campaign.

Africa Cup of Nations prize money breakdown.

Winners: $4.5m – Algeria

Runners-up: $2.5m – Senegal

Third place: $2m – Nigeria

Fourth place: $2m – Tunisia

Quarter-finalists: $800,000

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