Connect with us

Sports News

Senegal and Algeria set for rematch in AFCON final3 minutes read

It will be the first final to feature two local coaches since 1998

Published

on

Senegal and Algeria set for rematch in AFCON final | News Central TV
Sadio Mane of Senegal is challenged by Riyad Mahrez of Algeria. (File photo)

Sadio Mane’s Senegal and an Algeria side captained by Riyad Mahrez will attempt to secure their place in Africa Cup of Nations history in Friday’s final in Cairo.

Senegal, the 2002 runners-up, are desperate to end a long wait for a first continental title, while Algeria are looking to add to the trophy they lifted as hosts 29 years ago.

For Senegal, Africa’s top-ranked side, the ride to the final has encountered its share of bumps in the road but there is little doubt the showpiece at the 75,000 capacity Cairo International Stadium will feature the tournament’s two standout teams.

A Youcef Belaili goal gave Algeria a 1-0 win when the countries met in the group stage, but this time, there is no second chance with Cup of Nations immortality awaiting the victor.

“If you get to the final, the aim is obviously to win it. The game in the group stage wasn’t decisive but now it is and that’s the difference,” said Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi.

Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse is on a mission for personal redemption as the skipper of the side beaten on penalties in the 2002 final, when his missed kick handed the title to Cameroon.

“Having lost that final, I still have it on my mind,” said Cisse. “What motivated me to become a coach was to be able to take Senegal to the final. My players told me they would do better than my generation.”

“Algeria are a great team and we respect them,” he added. “We’re in the final now and determined to win.”

Liverpool star Mane is hoping to fulfil his “wildest dream” as one of just a handful of Africans to win both the UEFA Champions League and Cup of Nations.

“I’m ready to even swap a Champions League for a Cup of Nations. Going to Dakar with the trophy would be extraordinary. It would be my wildest dream,” Mane told France Football ahead of the competition.

Standing in the way, however, is an Algerian outfit that has undergone a remarkable transformation since the arrival of the straight-talking Belmadi as coach a year ago.

Senegal missing banned Koulibaly –

The Desert Foxes crashed out of the 2017 edition in the first round and flopped badly in World Cup qualifying, but former Qatar boss Belmadi has healed divisions in the squad to lead his nation to the brink of a first continental crown on foreign land.

“To the Algerian people, I want to say I’m not a politician, not a miracle worker or a wizard, but that we will fight like we have fought to this point,” Belmadi said after the 2-1 semi-final win over Nigeria.

Algeria owed that victory to a stunning last-gasp free-kick from Mahrez, who is craving further honours here after a domestic treble with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

“We are very happy to be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations because it is something very special,” said Mahrez.

“It was our goal to do it for the people and for our families. We know they are behind us all the way. It’s my dream to win the Cup of Nations.”

It will be the first final to feature two local coaches since 1998, when Mahmoud El Gohary’s Egypt defeated Jomo Sono and South Africa 2-0 in Ouagadougou. 

Senegal had already lost first-choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to a broken finger and must now do without defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly, who is suspended after two yellow cards in the knockout phase.

The occasion will also mark the climax, not only of Algeria’s campaign on the field, but of their fans’ recent political campaign in the stands.

In April, long-standing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after weekly Friday protests against his expected candidacy for elections, and football fans have been heavily involved in demonstrations.

Algeria will have the backing of an additional 4,800 supporters for the final. Some of them will arrive in Cairo on military planes organised by Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, who has also been a target of the demonstrations.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

North Africa Sports

Algeria international Youcef Atal faces lengthy spell out with knee injury

Published

on

Algeria international Youcef Atal faces lengthy spell out with knee injury
Nice's Algerian defender Youcef Atal react during the French L1 football match Nice (OGCN) vs Dijon (FCO) on September 21, 2019 at "Allianz Riviera" stadium in Nice, southern France. YANN COATSALIOU / AFP

The 23-year-old Nice defender was substituted in the 29th minute during his club’s 4-1 home win over Metz on Saturday in the French Ligue 1 and is expected to undergo surgery to repair a meniscal injury in his knee.

“Bad news for Youcef Atal and the Eagles. The diagnosis revealed a meniscal lesion in the right knee,” Nice said in a statement. “He will be operated on soon and will, unfortunately, be out of action for a long time.”

Atal who joined Nice from Belgian club Kortrijk in the summer of 2018 has scored one goal while providing two assists in 13 games this season for the French Club.

He began his youth career with Algerian outfits JS Kabylie, USM Alger and Paradou AC before moving to Europe. And has been reported earlier this season to be on the radar for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and the Jose Mourinho led Tottenham as a potential transfer target for the January window.

The injury to Atal also leaves a major blow at the back for the team lead by Patrick Viera who is currently 13th on the Ligue 1 table. Atal made his international debut for the Desert Foxes of Alegria in June 2017 in a match against Guinea and was part of the 2019 African Cup of Nations winning squad in Egypt.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

News

Pascal Siakam nets 24 points for NBA champions Toronto Raptors

Siakam’s Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet added 20 points in what was their 21st game of the regular season

Published

on

Pascal Siakam nets 24 points for NBA champions Toronto Raptors

Cameroonian NBA star, Pascal Siakam netted 24 points for NBA Champions Toronto Raptors in their 119-109 home defeat to the Houston Rockets.

The 25-year-old who has, so far, started every game this season for the Raptors finished as lead scorer for his team on the night despite the defeat, and he also made 9 rebounds and 2 assists for the Canada based basketball outfit who lie fourth on the Eastern conference table.

Siakam’s Raptors teammate Fred VanVleet added 20 points and point guard Kyle Lowry made 19 in what was their 21st game of the regular season.

The defeat for the Raptors meant they have now recorded their sixth loss this season, their second in a row, and at their home court for the first time at the Scotiabank Arena since losing to Oklahoma City and Charlotte in March this year.

Rockets point guard Russel Westbrook recorded yet another triple-double with 19 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

And the win for the Houston Rockets ended a three-game losing streak away from home, with star player James Harden netting 23 points, as they led from the first quarter which they took 34-28.

But it was the Rockets shooting guard Ben McLemore who scored 28 points to finish as the game’s top scorer.

Other games on Thursday night saw another Cameroonian, Joel Embiid grabbing 26 points and 21 rebounds for his team the Philadelphia 76ers, but they lost 113-119 on the road to the Washington Wizards who have now ended a three-game losing streak.

The Phoenix Suns recorded a 139-132 away victory in overtime against the New Orleans Pelicans. And the Denver Nuggets also grabbed a win on the road in New York against the Nicks which finished 129-92.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

East Africa Sports News

Liz Young establishes lead at Kenya Ladies Open tournament

tropical weather posed a slight challenge for Liz, who admitted being unaccustomed to playing in such hot weather.

Published

on

England's Liz Young plays at the Kenya Ladies Open tournament
England's Liz Young plays at the Kenya Ladies Open tournament. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP)

The first round of the Magical Kenya Ladies Open is underway at Vipingo Ridge in Vipingo, Kenya, 30km north of Mombasa on the Mombasa-Malindi Highway. The Pro-Am commenced on December 4th, with the official tournament taking place between December 5th and 8th. 

England’s Liz Young, who started in the first pairing from the 10th hole at 7.30 am on Friday, made a brilliant start and took the clubhouse lead on four-under-par 68.

Esther Henseleit needs a win to have a chance of winning the order of merit this week, then came in with a three-under 69, while Cheyenne Woods is the next best-placed player in the clubhouse on two-under-par.

The tropical weather posed a slight challenge for Liz, who admitted being unaccustomed to playing in such hot weather.

“I was on the range warming up this morning and my hands were getting very sweaty, which is unusual for me and I had to change my glove, which is something I never have to do. I knew the ball was going to fly a bit and the last hour on the golf course the cloud cover came in and cooled it down a bit. First thing, it was quite hot out there.”  

The tournament features a total of 108 women players from 28 countries, who are set to compete for the top prize of Kes 5million.

Copyright News Central

All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

Tell your story the right way

Have you witnessed a news worthy event? Want to become our citizen journalist and tell your own stories?

Send your stories to us or contact us via:
Email: Click to email us
Social media: Twitter and Facebook @NewsCentralTV
WhatsApp: Text or call +234 901 190 0000 .

New stories delivered to your phone

Click here to have news stories delivered to your phone or mail. You can also share your stories with us. Join our mailing list here.

Continue Reading

Trending