AFCON 2019: Algeria, Senegal battle for glory

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Algeria and Senegal are set to do battle tonight in search for Africa’s new football champion.

The Desert Foxes will be seeking their second Africa Cup of Nations title, while the Teranga Lions will be hoping to roar past the North Africans to their first ever AFCON title.

Algeria won it’s one and only AFCON title in 1990, with a 1-0 victory against Nigeria in the final.

On the other hand, Senegal came closest to AFCON glory in 2002 when they reached the final but lost to Cameroon in post-match penalties.

Both sides will rely on their very talented line ups to become the new African champions tonight.

Algeria boasts of talents such as Riyad Mahrez, Sofiane Feghouli, Mohamed Youcef Belaili, Baghdad Bounedjah among others, while Senegal has Sadio Mane, M’Baye Niang, Idrissa Gueye, Krepin Diatta and others.

The two finalists have already met once in the group stage of this tournament, with Algeria emerging narrow 1-0 victors to top the group.

Both sides have since enjoyed good runs to reach the final, their last results being a 2-1 win over Nigeria for the North Africans and a 1-0 victory over Tunisia for the West Africans.

Both Algeria and Senegal are managed by local coaches, a fact that has got the continent’s football lovers calling for more countries to follow suit and use locals in team management.

Thousands of fans from the two countries are expected in Cairo to cheer their teams in tonight’s game.

One big issue for Senegal will however be the lack of imposing center back Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Napoli defender is considered one of the world’s best in his positions, evident by the number of European clubs that are seeking to snap him up from the Italian side.

Koulibaly picked up a second yellow card in three games in his side’s win over Tunisia.

The AFCON 2019 final will be played at the 75,000-seater Cairo International Stadium, starting at 1900GMT.

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