Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said Algeria were worthy winners after Riyad Mahrez’s last-gasp free-kick sent his team through to a first Africa Cup of Nations final in 29 years.
Manchester City winger Mahrez fired in from 20 yards with the last kick of the game in Cairo to clinch a 2-1 victory after Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo had canceled out a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong.
Rohr told newsmen during a post-match interview that it was a game of two halves, adding however that Algeria were the better side at the end of the day. Rohr again lauded the resilience of his team, which bounced back strongly to a shock loss to Madagascar by eliminating holders Cameroon and beating South Africa, but they had no time to respond to a stroke of genius from Mahrez.
Coach Djamel Belmadi of Algeria on his part said his side had a tough game against a tough opponent, adding that it had to take the quality of Mahrez to decide the result of the match.
Nigeria will now take on 2004 champions Tunisia in the third place match at the Al Salam Stadium on Wednesday, while Algeria take on Senegal in Friday’s final at the Cairo International Stadium.