Algeria ended Nigeria’s dream of a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title with a 2-1 victory thanks to Riyad Mahrez’s last minute stunner from a freekick in the second semi final at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday night.
The Manchester City winger, fired in a spectacular strike with a what was virtually the last kick of the game.
The Algerians drew first blood in the first half with William Troost-Ekong putting the ball into the back of his own net after a fierce cross from Riyad Mahrez on the right five minutes before half-time.
A Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review however earned Nigeria a penalty after Aissa Mandi’s handled in the penalty area. Odion Ighalo calmly send M’bolhi the wrong way to claim his fourth goal of the tournament.
Gambian referee Bakary Gassama initially not spotted Etebo’s effort strike Mandi but VAR intervened to award a penalty which Ighalo dispatched with consummate ease.
Sofiane Feghouli blazed over late on and extra time beckoned after Ismael Bennacer rattled the bar in stoppage time.
Algeria won a freekick on the edge of the D zone in stoppage time and there was Mahrez dispatching a thunderbolt curler into Akpeyi’s top corner to send the Desert Foxes into their first final since 1990 when they won it.
Nigeria will next play Tunisia who lost 1-0 to Senegal in the bronze match on Friday.