Riyad Mahrez scored a goal and assisted the other as Algeria secured a last minute win against Nigeria in the Africa Cup Of Nations semi-final.
Algeria was dominant in the first half and pegged the Super Eagles in their own half. The first real chance of the match came in the 28th minute. A mix up in the Nigerian defense saw Baghdad Bounedjah one on of with the goalkeeper but Daniel Akpeyi in the Nigerian goal.
The tall center forward had a penalty shout two minutes later after he appeared to go down in the box but the referee adjudged it to be a dive.
Nigeria was attacking in bursts and mostly on the counter. Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi made one superb run from his own half, fed the ball to Odion Ighalo but the former Watford striker could not get a shot away in time.
The North African would, however, go ahead in the 40th minute. Riyad Mahrez played in a dangerous cross from the right and the ball struck Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong and deflected into the net.
The second half saw the Super Eagles up the tempo in search for an equalizer. They were rewarded a penalty after Aissa Mandi stopped Etebo’s goal-bound shot with his arm.
Odion Ighalo stepped up to send Rais Mbolhi the wrong way and score his 4th goal in the tournament. He is now the outright top scorer in this year’s tournament.
There was a final twist of the tale deep into added time. As the clock hit 93 minutes Algeria was awarded a freekick just outside the box. Riyad Mahrez stepped up and blasted an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to send the Algerian team and fans into dreamland.
It was virtually the last kick of the game and handed the Desert Foxes a place in Friday’s final against the Teranga Lions Of Senegal.