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Algeria are champions of Africa!

Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 at Cairo International Stadium on Friday night to secure the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations title.

Algeria's Riyad Mahrez celebrates after winning the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Final football match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday.  Credit: AFP

Algeria went into the Africa Cup of Nations final unbeaten, and the favourites to win the trophy. Senegal, reliant on star forward Sadio Mane, struggled to deal with a physical Algeria team.

It was not a classic final by any means, as Algeria showed why they didn't lose a match in the tournament.

Senegal were shaken from the start, as early as the second minute when they conceded a curious goal off a wicked deflection.

Algerian striker Baghdad Bounedjah cut inside from the left-wing and made a break towards the outside of the box. He took the early shot which struck the leg of defender Salif Sane, and looped over goalkeeper Amigo Gomis, nestling in the back of the net.

Once they were ahead, Les Fennecs frustrated the Lions of Teranga, targeting their talisman Sadio Mane for special attention. Mane bravely, and almost single-handedly still created chances for his team, but they struggled to find the net.

In the 68th minute, Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi was forced into a stunning save from a blistering shot by Youssouf Sabaly, who connected a long-range shot.

Mane had his opportunities too; the best in the 57th minute, when he shot just wide from inside the box.

Mbaye Niang came closest to scoring when he shaved the corner of the goalposts after a cracking effort from outside the box.

Algeria had an answer for all of Senegal's questions in the latter stages of the match, and try as they might Senegal failed to break down the Desert Foxes' defence.

Algeria last won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1990, when they beat Nigeria 1-0 on home soil.

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