Algeria defeated the Elephants of Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties in Suez Thursday to set up an AFCON 2019 semifinal showdown with Nigeria, Completesports.com reports
The AFCON 2019 quarter-final match finished 1-1 after extra time with Sofiane Feghouli giving Algeria a 20th-minute lead that was cancelled by Jonathan Kodjia on 62 minutes.
In the shootout, Youcef Belaili struck the woodwork when he had a chance to clinch victory for Algeria, then Ivory Coast captain Serey Die hit the same post and his team were eliminated.
Forward Bounedjah missed a penalty in the second half of regular time and was visibly upset by his failure, fearing it would cost Algeria a first last-four place since 2010.
Algeria retained the team that started a last-16 demolition of Guinea, a result which confirmed the belief of many rival coaches that the Desert Foxes are the team to beat.
Ivory Coast coach Ibrahim Kamara changed two of the side that began an unimpressive 1-0 win over Mali in the first knockout round.
Midfielder Ibrahim Sangare and forward Max-Alain Gradel were selected to start in place of Jean-Philippe Gbamin and off-form Nicolas Pepe.
It was the eighth AFCON finals meeting between the two countries, with Ivory Coast holding a 3-2 lead and two matches drawn.
Ivory Coast were more impressive in the early exchanges before a modest crowd in a stadium overlooking the Suez canal, a major shipping link between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.
Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi finger-tipped a Gradel shot on to a post and Kodjia wasted a chance from close range after a cutback in 38 celsius (100 fahrenheit) heat.
Serge Kanon was the next Ivorian to squander an opportunity to put the two-time champions in front, stabbing the ball wide from inside the six-yard area.
Against the run of play, Algeria went ahead when Feghouli connected with a Ramy Bensebaini cross and his snapshot flew past Sylvain Gbohouo.
Algeria had a great chance to go further ahead early in the second half when Bounedjah was fouled by Gbohouo, but he blazed the penalty against the crossbar and over.
The Ivorian Elephants were playing much better than in previous matches and equalised just past the hour mark, ending a 422-minute run by Mbolhi without conceding a goal in Egypt.
Crystal Palace flier Wilfried Zaha created the goal with a surging run down the middle from the centre circle before passing to Kodjia, who scored with a shot from just inside the box.
Meanwhile, Tunisia will play Senegal in the other AFCON 2019 semifinal match after edging out the Barea of Madagascar in their quarterfinal clash also on Thursday.
Madagascar’ fairytale run in their AFCON finals debut came to a crushing end losing 3-0 to Allan Giress’s Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
Three second half goals by the Carthage Eagles proved enough to propel the North African side to the last four of the African football showpiece.
After an uneventful first half in which opportunities were few and far in coming, the Tunisian turned the heat on their opponents, whose inexperience now came glaringly to the fore.
It did not take long for the breakthrough to arrive seven minutes into the second period when Sassi found the Madagascar net after a brilliant buildup.
Eight minutes later, right on top of the hour mark, Msakni doubled the lead for the manager Alan Giress side when his right footed effort took a slight deflection off a defender before hitting the net.
The Indian Ocean Island nation now poured out, encamping in their opponents’ territory but lacked the cutting edge in the final third.
And they were further punished on the break when Sliti fired home the third and final goal during the stoppage time following a swift break.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.