By Emmanuel Ebimoh
Manchester City sensation, Riyad Mahrez broke the hearts of the Super Eagles and indeed, the whole of Nigeria with a devastating last-minute free-kick to seal the victory for the Desert Foxes in AFCON semi-final clash.
Nigerian defender, William Troost-Ekong had scored an own-goal in the first half of the match to give Algeria an early lead. Nigeria equalised in the 73rd when Odion Ighalo converted a penalty with a cool finish. The game was destined to go into extra time but Riyad Mahrez had other ideas.
Just after 90 minutes, the dangerous winger made a dashing run into Nigeria’s penalty box but was checked by the defence, before the Foxes had a free-kick outside Nigeria’s 18-yard box. Riyad Mahrez stepped up, and with a devastating effort, he curled the ball into the net to claim the victory in the 94th minutes. It was nothing but sheer precision and brilliance from the Algerian talisman.
The victory for Algeria means they will be facing Senegal in the final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, while Nigeria plays Tunisia for a third-place finish.