Algeria head coach Djamel Belmadi believes his side should have blown away Nigeria in their 2-1 victory at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi finals on Sunday night.
The explosive match had looked to be heading to extra time as the two teams battled for the right to play Senegal in Friday’s showpiece, but Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez won it for Algeria late on.
Algeria went ahead courtesy of a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong, with the Udinese central defender turning a Mahrez cross into his own net.
Shanghai Shenhua forward Odion Ighalo equalised with a penalty for Nigeria, with the spot-kick awarded for handball after a VAR review.
“The guys made an amazing first half. We deserved to score more,” Djamel Belmadi said at a Post Match Conference that had Futbalgalore.com in attendance.
The coach admitted that the Super Eagles put his team under pressure but the Fennecs showed great attitude at the home stretch.
“In the second half we had a difficult moment for around 15 minutes where we were under pressure.”
“After the penalty players showed great attitude and mental strength and coming back until the end, fighting to score a goal was great for us.”
The Fennecs face their group opponents Senegal in the grand final next Friday (19 July 2019) at the Cairo International Stadium with the Holy Grail of African football at stake.