Riyad Mahrez scored a sensational Injury time freekick to send Algeria to their first AFCON final in 29 years at the expense of Nigeria in what was a sensational match at the Cairo International stadium.
Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr named an unchanged side from the team that beat South Africa in the quarterfinals while Algeria manager Djamel Belmadi made one change to the side that beat Ivory Coast on penalties with Mehdi Zeffane coming in for the injured Yousef Atal.
Algeria started brightly dictating the tempo and they should have taken the lead as early as the eighth minute after Daniel Akpeyi fumbled a cross from the right, but Baghdad Bounedjah could not convert in front of an open goal.
Algeria continued to dominate and they got close once again. Ismael Bennacer brilliant freekick found Ramy Bensebaini in the box but the Stade Rennais midfielder could not keep his header low.
Nigerian defence were struggling to keep up with the slick attacking moves of the Desert Foxes and they were once again close to conceding. Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo misread a ball from the Algerian half allowing Baghdad Bounedjah to race through on goal, but the 27-year-old could only hit straight at Daniel Akpeyi.
The Al-Saad striker kept on troubling the Super Eagles defence and was once again through on goal but a timely intervention from Jamilu Collins sent the ball away for an Algerian corner.
Nigeria’s first real chance came in the 39th minute through Ighalo. The former Watford man received a cutback from Alex Iwobi but his low shot couldn’t hit the target.
With the half time break looming, Algeria took the lead their play deserved although through an own goal. Riyad Mahrez beat Jamilu Collins on the left through a brilliant piece of skill to fire in a cross which was inadvertently turned into the net by Nigerian defender William Troost Ekong.
It proved to be the last real action of the half as Algeria went into the half with a deserved lead. The second half started with Algeria dominating possession once again. Mahrez was proving to be a thorn in the flesh of the Nigerian defence and he almost set up a second goal for Le Fennecs but Ekong was in the right position this time to beat away his cross.
Against the run of play, Nigeria drew level from the penalty spot. Etebo’s shot hit Aissa Mandi hands in the box but was not spotted by the referee. However, following a VAR review, the penalty was awarded which was converted by Ighalo.
Following the equalizer, the game was played at a slow pace until Mahrez popped up in the 94th minute of added time to fire home a close-range freekick to send Algeria to their first final in 29 years.
It was the last action of the match as Algeria go on to face Senegal in the final while the Super Eagles will have to battle Tunisia for third place