The encounter that pits Senegal against Algeria will kick-start at 8 pm.
In less than twenty four hours, the 32nd edition of the Africa Nations Cup will be history. Just like during the opening ceremony, host country Egypt has left no stone unturned to make Africa proud. Apart from cultural display and fire crackers, the final arena, Cairo International Stadium has also received another facelift.
While some areas of the grand stands are welcoming new coats of paint, the turf where the main actors of the day, Senegal and Algeria are expected to showcase their prowess has been given an extra-ordinary care. The lighting system has been installed and tasted over and over, the CAF medical team has deployed up-to-date equipment to fight any eventuality.
For personalities, more than three Heads of State are expected to assist their Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al Sisi chair the event that will kick-start at 8 pm Cameroon time.
The encounter to be officiated by a trio of Cameroonian referees, will witness for the first time in the history of the competition, the use of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) at the finals.
For tomorrow’s actors though both teams did meet during the group stage of the competition with Algeria edging Senegal 1 – 0, today’s match is expected to be a different ball game as the stakes have changed and both teams have gone back to their respective drawing boards.
If one is to go by the books, the Teranga Lions are not new comers at this stage of the competition. After fifteen appearances at the final phase of the competition, they have missed to lift the trophy once in 2002 when they lost to Cameroon after penalty shootout. With seventeen years gone, here comes the Senegalese eager to enter the hall of fame.
On the other hand, today’s final will be the second for Algeria. The first time they got to this stage was in 1990 when they hosted and won the trophy. With eighteen appearances after thirty-two editions, the Fennecs of Algeria seems to be in their year of glory. At AFCON 2019, they have registered a clean sheet. No defeat at group stage and the most offensive attack at the knockout stage.