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Algeria's AFCON title win wasn't pretty but will remain memorable

While the African Cup of Nations final may have been tough to watch, Steve Nicol says Algeria's defence deserves a lot of credit for their victory.

CAIRO -- Algeria's players ran toward the swaying mass of green and white behind the goal, some swinging from the crossbars while others could barely contain themselves from running into the stands and allowing themselves to be submerged in 15,000 of their jubilant, incredulous countrymen.

This meant everything: It meant a first Africa Cup of Nations title for almost three decades, and it meant a fresh surge of optimism for a country that has been in the throes of revolution this year.

The tears...

Algeria clinch AFCON title with bizarre goal

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While the African Cup of Nations final may have been tough to watch, Steve Nicol says Algeria's defence deserves a lot of credit for their victory.

Algeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time on Friday when a freak second-minute goal by Baghdad Bounedjah gave them a 1-0 win over gallant Senegal in the final.

Bounedjah stunned the Lions of Teranga with a shot which took a wicked deflection off Salif Sane and looped over the bewildered goalkeeper Alfred Gomis and into the net.

Algeria, who committed 32 fouls according to official match statistics, sat back after that and had to scrap for their win in a match that was certainly...

AFCON 2019: Will Senegal's unsung hero Idrissa Gueye finally get the credit he deserves?

Steve Nicol says Riyad Mahrez and Co. are best positioned to win Friday's African Cup of Nations final.

African football loves to laud its superstars. Images, narratives and stories surrounding Mohamed Salah dominated the first half of this Africa Cup of Nations, while Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez have stepped into the limelight during the knockout stages following the hosts' early exit.

Now some quarters are billing Friday's final between Algeria and Senegal as a showdown between Mahrez and Mane -- a re-run of the epic Manchester City-Liverpool slugfest that drove that English Premier League title...

AFCON: Algeria favourites vs. Senegal as old friends Belmadi and Cisse reunite on the touchline

Steve Nicol says Riyad Mahrez and Co. are best positioned to win Friday's African Cup of Nations final.

 For Djamel Belmadi and Aliou Cisse, there is the overwhelming sense that Friday's Africa Cup of Nations final between Algeria and Senegal was written in the stars. It is not so long since they were lining up opposite each other at youth competitions in Champigny-sur-Marne, a dormitory town outside of Paris. On Friday they will walk out together in the crucible of Cairo International Stadium, holding their respective countries' footballing fates in their hands.

"It is fate," said Belmadi,...

The football has been thrilling, so why hasn't Egypt embraced the Africa Cup of Nations?

Steve Nicol says Riyad Mahrez and Co. are best positioned to win Friday's African Cup of Nations final.

CAIRO -- At any other time, it might have been the moment that held the whole world's attention. In the final minute of Algeria's Africa Cup of Nations semifinal against Nigeria in Cairo, Riyad Mahrez stood over a free-kick 22 yards out, puffed out his cheeks, stepped back and prepared to make history...

The Manchester City forward whipped a vicious shot around the wall and into the top corner, giving his country a first appearance in the final since 1990 and sending the Algeria fans, many of whom...