An AFCON night to forget for both Nigerians and the Tunis with minor mishaps at the back leading to major knockouts at pivotal stages of the tournament. A sad AFCON event filled with penalties, own goals and regular interventions from our love it or hate it Virtual Assistant referee (VAR).
For the Tunisian team, the tricky affair dished out two penalties in the space of 3minutes (bizarre times people). Followed up by a disallowed penalty deep into the extra time……VAR doing its thing. The main highlight of the game came when Dylan Bronn put the ball in his own net. This sealed the game and a spot in the final for Tunisia. This sparked a few frustrated brawls between the players but the referee was kind enough to overlook the minor fits of rage by not sending anyone off.
The game between Nigeria and Algeria was an intense affair. One not for the faint-hearted. Constant end to end attacking plays from both teams. In the 40th minute, we saw a cross from Rihad Mahrez deflected of the stomach of William Troost Ekong to gift the Algerians an unlikely own goal.
In the second half, Nigeria got her equaliser courtesy of a VAR inspired penalty. It looked like it was heading for another night of intense extra time football and maybe some heart banging penalties. However, Mahrez thought otherwise as he drove in a wonderfully placed freekick into the top corner of the goal. This was far from the reach of the outstretched Nigerian goalie. Amidst the Algerian celebrations, the referee blew the final whistle and it was game over.
Senegal has finally made it to the last stage of the tournament for the second time in their footballing history. The latter being in 2002.
For Nigeria and Tunisia, its another reunion in the 3rd and 4th Place match and hopefully we will be wearing our light green jersey as it seems this dark green jersey might be cursed.