While Nigerians are feeling terribly upset by the late goal that denied the Super Eagles a chance of getting to the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Algeria’s coach Djamel Belmadi feels Nigeria was lucky; losing just 2-1 to his team.
Speaking to journalists in Egypt after Sunday’s win, coach Belmadi claims his side ought to have scored more goals against the Super Eagles but he remains satisfied with the final outcome.
“The guys made an amazing first half. We deserved to score more,” the coach stated.
“In the second half, we had a difficult moment for around 15 minutes where we were under pressure.
“After the penalty, players showed great attitude, mental strength and come back, until the end. Fighting to score a goal was great for us,” he added.
The Super Eagles fought back from a goal deficit in the second half to hold Djamel Belmadi’s men to a 1-1 draw until injury time.
After four additional minutes in stoppage time, Riyad Mahrez rose to the occasion and scored a free-kick in the last minute of the game to break the hearts of Nigerians.
The Manchester City player also gave his thoughts on what he described a difficult game against the Super Eagles.
He said, “It was a very tough game today, (Sunday) especially when we were ahead and they equalised from the penalty.
“At the end, we had this freekick and we scored. We are very happy to be in the final of the AFCON because is something unbelievable.”
Sunday’s defeat dashed the Super Eagles’ hopes of claiming their fourth AFCON title, but, they will face Tunisia in Wednesday’s third-place encounter at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo.
Algeria, on their part, who are making it to the final of the AFCON for the first time in 29 years, will be facing Senegal in Friday’s grand finale.