Algeria enjoyed a dream start to the Africa Cup of Nations final in absolutely baffling fashion and wound up winning the title thanks to that moment.
Algeria enjoyed a dream start to the Africa Cup of Nations final in absolutely baffling fashion–and it wound up being the title-winning moment.
The Desert Foxes scored less than two minutes into the title match vs. Senegal on a goal that goes down as a strike from Baghdad Bounedjah. The video evidence, however, shows something considerably less straightforward than that.
Bounedjah's speculative blast from distance took a wicked deflection off of Salif Sane, with the Senegal defender just looking to block the shot. Instead, it looped high, back toward goal, where Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis stayed rooted to the ground, watching helplessly as the ball snuck under the crossbar and in.
The goal was a perfect start for Algeria, which already beat Senegal earlier in the competition, winning 1-0 in the group stage. It held on for a win by that same margin in the final, getting helped by a VAR decision that overruled a Senegal penalty in the second half, to win its second AFCON title and first since 1990.
Senegal, meanwhile, fell for a second time on the final stage, following its defeat to Cameroon on penalties in 2002.