Published: Mon, July 15, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Algeria and Tunisia progress to AFCON semi-finals

Algeria and Tunisia progress to AFCON semi-finals

After an own goal sent Senegal into the final at Tunisia's expense, the same misfortune struck Nigeria in Sunday's second semi-final when William Troost-Ekong inadvertently chested the ball into his own net.

Algeria will play Nigeria in Sunday's semifinals at the Cairo International Stadium.

These two teams were at the World Cup a year ago so it's maybe not a huge surprise to see them in the last four of the Africa Cup of Nations.

It is always interesting to see how the psychological game plays out in the lead-up to a big match with everything at stake, such as an Africa Cup of Nations semi-final.

The top two ranked countries in Africa, with Senegal first, are back in the semi-finals after lengthy absences. "The champions will be the team that wants the trophy the most".

After trying and failing repeatedly, Tunisia's Carthage Eagles are through to a semi-final for the first time in 15 years.

Senegal play Tunisia at 17:00 BST and Algeria face Nigeria at 20:00, at different venues in Cairo.

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Tunisia drew four consecutive matches before taking advantage of jaded giantkillers Madagascar to win 3-0 with captain Youssef Msakni among the goals.

Meanwhile, a 4-3 penalty shoot-out also on Thursday secured Algeria's progression against tournament favourites Ivory Coast.

Riyad Mahrez scored a sensational free-kick in the 95th minute as Algeria beat Nigeria 2-1 to seal their place in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

The Desert Foxes are through to the last four of the tournament for the first time since 2010 and have looked the strongest side in Egypt, having defeated title favourites Senegal in the group phase.

"What I admire about my team is that they never give up". Head coach Djamel Belmadi kicked a player out of the squad for a relatively minor off-field issue pre-tournament and that appears to have set the tone. "This refusal to accept defeat can take us a very long way", said coach Gernot Rohr.

"Yes we won at home, have had great players and played in the World Cup".

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