AFCON 2019: Senegal take on Algeria in a showdown

The two most outstanding teams in this year's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria and Senegal will go face to face in the final of the tournament which has lasted for one month at the Cairo International Sports Stadium on Friday at 7:00 pm Ghanaian time.


Senegal and Algeria were in the same group, but the Desert Foxes cruised to a 1-0 victory against the Taranga Lions, so revenge will be on the minds of the West Africans heading into this tie.

The two coaches have a lot of things in common, they both captained their teams in the AFCON so they are indigenes.

They grew up in the French capital Paris and played in the French Ligue 1, so they know each other very well, having been involved in several battles as footballers in the past.


The Taranga Lions who are the most ranked team on the African continent reached the final of the continent’s showpiece for the second time. They lost the final in 2002 against Nigeria on penalties.

Senegal forward Sadio Mane is the player who has attempted (34) and completed (20) the most dribbles.

Kalidou Koulibaly's has been a rock in the Algeria defence and for his side to overcome the Algeria, they need to organise their backline very well for them to deal with the threats of Riyad Mahrez, Sofiane Feghouli and Baghdad Bounegdah.

Although, his partnership with his skipper Cheikhou Kouyaté is a make shift one, they have combined effectively thus far. However, Koulibaly is suspended for the final.

Idrissa Gana Gueye is another arsenal for the Senegalese. The Everton midfielder has been very effective in the middle of the park the Taranga Lions . He will however, battle it out in midfield with Ismael Bennacer of Algeria who has also had a sensational tournament


Algeria will play their third AFCON final after 1980 (a 3-0 defeat to Nigeria) and 1990 (a 1-0 win, also against the Super Eagles). They have conceded two goals in the 2019 AFCON, only in 1984 have they conceded fewer in a single edition, whey they finished third, letting in one goal.

The Desert Foxes have been the most impressive team in the competition thus far, having scored 12 goals- they are the highest scoring side.

They will continue to count on the attacking potency of Riyad Mahrez and Youcef Belaili 

The Manchester City forward is the leading candidate for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Most Valuable Player and he established it after scoring the goal that sent the North Africans into the final- stunning freekick in the last minute of added time.

Riyad Mahrez has bagged three goals, which is two behind tournament’s top scorer Odion Ighalo as Algeria head into the final of the AFCON on Friday.

 Mahrez has been decisive in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) for Algeria. His creativity in front of goal has propelled the Desert Foxes to their first final since 1990.

Youcef Bellaili has also been an influential figure in the Algerian set-up. 

Bellaili has been involved in a lot of goals through his piercing passes and clinical finishing: he has bagged two goals thus far and has been a regular feature in the team.

Algeria will rely heavily on him entering into the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Senegal.

Nine Algeria players have been involved in at least one goal (excluding own goals) during the 2019 AFCON: Youcef Atal, Youcef Belaili, Ismael Bennacer, Ramy Bensebaini, Baghdad Bounedjah, Sofiane Feghouli, Riyad Mahrez, Adam Ounas and Islam Slimani. That is more than any other team.

Bennacer, 21 has had a fantastic tournament. His work rate, ball possession and retention has been very key to the Algeria's ability to dominate their opponents

Head to head

Senegal have played Algeria 22 times in all competition. The North Africans have been dominant against the West Africans, having won 12, lost four (4), with six (6) ending in a draw

Algeria are unbeaten against Senegal in four AFCON encounters (winning three, drawing one). Moreover, the Teranga Lions are the team the Fennec Foxes have faced most without losing to in the AFCON.


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