AFCON 2019: Nigeria to play Algeria in Semi-final on Sunday

Ruben Hill
July 12, 2019

Algeria progressed to the semi-finals of the Africa Cup Of Nations after overcoming Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties in the quarter-finals on Thursday evening in Suez.

Algeria will now meet Nigeria in the semifinals at the Cairo International Stadium on Sunday as they seek to end their long wait for continental success that stretches back to 1990.

They improved after the break, though, and should have taken the lead 67 minutes in when Jonathan Kodjia could only find the side-netting after goalkeeper Djigui Diarra had slipped.

Zaha had a wonderful chance to give Ivory Coast a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes remaining after receiving a diagonal pass in the air from Gradel, however, the Crystal Palace star mistimed his volley, despite being free on the left side of the box and scuffed his effort.

Former Manchester City player Wilfried Bony had already had a penalty saved when team-mate Serey Die hit the post, earning Algeria victory.

Gradel nearly gave Côte d'Ivoire the lead in the sixth minute with a curling shot from the edge of the box that was unfortunately tipped to the far post by shot-stopper Rais M'Bolhi, while Jonathan Kodjia went close minutes later.

And it should have been 1-0 a few minutes later when the wizardry of Wilfried Zaha in the box saw him fashion a low cross that was flawless for Kodjia, who missed the ball completely.

The two sides headed into the break with Algeria almost doubling the lead minutes before half-time through Riyad Mahrez who saw his powerful shot blocked.

Mali, who have now failed to win any of their five meetings with Ivory Coast, pushed for a late leveller but Gbohouo made a fine stoppage-time save to keep out a fierce strike from Kalifa Coulibaly.

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.

A few minutes later, Kodjia's quick shot from a tight angle looped onto the woodwork, before the Aston Villa forward finally found the equaliser.

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.

Ivorian Ismael Traore came closest to a victor in extra time when his scrambled shot from a corner was blocked on the line by Mehdi Zeffane.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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