As it happened in the group stage, it also happened in the final. Algeria pipped Senegal by a lone goal but this time, there seemed to be an “unseen” hand which steered Baghdad Bounedjah’s deflected strike in the 2nd minute into the back of the net. Maybe, God is no longer a Ghanaian but an Algerian. Below are seven deductions from the game:
Algeria wins the AFCON for the second time in their history. Their first victory was in 1990.
Senegal’s AFCON woes continued and surprisingly, they are yet to win the AFCON.
After Algeria got the early goal, what they sought to do was clear – rely on counter attacks. This time, we didn’t witness a sleek passing Algerian team. Algeria rather resorted to using long balls and could hardly string passes together. What we saw was a team that wanted to win and didn’t care about “the how”. After Senegal conceded, they gained control of the game. They bossed possession but were unable to draw level.
Senegal Is Senegal, Not France
Frances’s victory in the 2018 World Cup was weird. Olivier Giroud didn’t score any goal yet the French won. Heading into the game, some optimists were counting on the same fate as M’baye Niang prior to the game hadn’t scored. Niang didn’t disappoint. He didn’t score in the final too but the difference is that Senegal couldn’t lift the trophy.
This Was Rugby
Of course, Africans are by nature, very physical and a final like this was always expected to be very physical.
Ismaila Sarr, And Ismael Bennacer Stars Of The Future
Sarr, 21 and Bennacer, 21 were once again very impressive. They are definitely Africa’s rising stars and in some years to come, we shouldn’t be surprised when we see them at the echelon of World Football. Bennacer was named as the player of the tournament.
Riyad Mahrez And Sadio Mane, Silenced
The game’s hype was also centered around Riyad Mahrez and Sadio Mane but they didn’t produce anything spectacular. Mane on a few occasions, attempted some of his menacing runs but he was stopped. Mahrez however put in a great shift in defense as he dropped deep often to help his team execute their defensive plan.
Source : EOnlineGH.com