Weekly digest #4
TOTAL AFCON 2019 WEEK 4 ROUNDUP
The two semi-finals of the Total AFCON 2019 couldn’t have been more exciting. Both saw own goals from the losing team and decisive goals late in the game. In the end, Senegal and Algeria came out on top in their semi-final matches against Tunisia and Nigeria to set up a powerhouse of a final on July 19. Three weeks ago, Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 in their group-stage match. Will Algeria repeat their performance on Friday or will Senegal get their revenge and finally win the Total Africa Cup of Nations?
The route to the final
Algeria made it to the quarter-finals with four solid wins, scoring nine goals in their four matches. The team conceded their first goal of the tournament in the quarter-final clash against Ivory Coast in the 62nd minute, after having missed a penalty that would have extended their lead to two goals. The match went to extra time and, finally, to penalties. Algeria eventually won 4-3 on penalties. In the semi-final, an own goal by Nigeria and a penalty conceded by Algeria saw the match delicately poised at 1-1 after 90 minutes. Five minutes into stoppage time—in what turned out to be the last shot of the game—Algeria converted a 20-yard free kick to take the lead, 2-1, and make it to the final after 29 years.
Senegal, for their part, finished second in their group after losing 1-0 to Algeria. Since then, they’ve won all of their knockout matches by a 1-0 margin—an early goal against Uganda, a second-half goal against Benin and, finally, an own-goal by Tunisia in extra time, in their semi-final match. Senegal will be playing their first AFCON final since 2002, when they lost 3-2 on penalties to Cameroon.
Tunisia finally gets a big win, but loses in the semi-final
Tunisia had a slow start to the tournament with three draws in the group stage and a close penalty-shootout win against Ghana in their round-of-16 match. In the quarterfinals, they faced upbeat Madagascar, who had already beaten Nigeria and DR Congo. After a goalless first half, Tunisia scored three goals in the second half to qualify for the semi-finals in style. In the semi-final, neither Tunisia nor Senegal managed to score a goal in 90 minutes and the match went into extra-time. Tunisia netted an own goal in the 100th minute to hand Senegal a win. They will now play Nigeria in the third-place playoff.
Madagascar 0-3 Tunisia
Senegal 1-0 Tunisia
3rd place playoff and the final
3rd place: Tunisia vs Nigeria, Al Salaam, July 17 21:00 CLT