The Desert Foxes of Algeria are the African champions for the second time in their history after an early Baghdad Bounedjah goal secured victory over Senegal last night in Cairo, Egypt.
Taking a massive deflection off Salif Sane and looping over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes, Bounedjah’s 2nd-minute shot would prove the difference in the game.
The Lions of Teranga made only their second final appearance since 2002- one in which they lost too, and dominated last night’s clash for huge spells but could not find an equalizer. Mbaye Niang’s early left-foot drive was the first real attempt at drawing level but this went wide. He would show up just after resumption, rounding off goalkeeper Rais M’bohli and shooting wide.
There was some hope when referee Neant Alioum pointed to the spot, after
Ismaila Sarr’s cross was blasted at Adlene Guedioura’s arm but a quick VAR check nullified the call.
Towards the end, right-back Youssef Sabaly’s shot from the edge of the box forced M’Bolhi to palm it over.
The Foxes closed the game to win their first title since 1990.
Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo took home the golden boot award with 5 goals having also helped his side to third place. the Player of the tournament was Ismael Bennacer while his goalkeeper Rais M’Bohli was the ‘keeper of the tournament.
Senegal earned the fair play award.