Algeria endured a test of character to beat Ivory Coast on penalties in the quater final of the 2019 African Cup of Nations while Tunisia swept aside a sorry Malagasy side.
In a game that was tipped as the headliner for the quarter final fixtures, Algeria locked horns with the Elephants of La Cotê D’Ivoire.
The Ivorians qualified on the back of a 1-0 victory over Mali via a late Wilfried Zaha goal. The Crystal Palace man’s second goal of the tournament came in late and sealed qualification for the Ivorians.
The Algerians ,however ,were less merciful in their quest as they thrashed Guinea 3-0 . Goals from Belaili, Mahrez and Ounas ensured that the Algerians were in flying form coming into the quarter final.
However, it was the Ivorians who took the early initiative with Rais Mboli needing to be at full stretch to keep Gradel out.
That was just about it as the Algerians took control and started making advances towards the Ivorian rear guard with both Mahrez and Bounedjah missing glorious opportunities.
They got their opener however, after Sofiane Feghouli connected a cut back into the net and sent Algerian fans wild.
They held on to the lead and went into the break with the thought of having a foot in the semi final.
Algeria had the opportunity to double their lead just after the break when they were awarded a penalty after Bounedjah was tripped.
Bounedjah himself stepped up but missed woefully from the spot. That miss would prove to be costly for a while as moments later, the Ivorians got the equaliser after Jonathan Kodjia’s well placed effort.
The game went into extra time and then penalties as both teams couldn’t find the all important winner.
Wilfried Bony and Serey Die missed their kicks as Algeria converted 4 kicks to qualify for their first semi final since 2010.
In the other quarter final game, Tunisia called on 3 second half goals as they beat Madagascar to make the semi finals.
Wahbi Kazhri was in fine form and even had a goal disallowed as Tunisia searched for a goal.
Their probing however reaped its rewards as they brought an end to the Malagasy fairytale.
The result means they set up a semi final encounter with Senegal while Algeria battle it out with the Super Eagles of Nigeria.