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Africa Cup of Nations review: Algeria deserved winners but Egypt leave much to be desired

While the African Cup of Nations final may have been tough to watch, Steve Nicol says Algeria's defence deserves a lot of credit for their victory.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations concluded on Friday night with Algeria defeating Senegal 1-0 to claim their first title since 1990. ESPN FC's Nick Ames, who covered the tournament across Egypt all summer, gives the highs and lows of the competition.

THE GOOD

- It was a fine tournament for bright, up-and-coming coaches and none more so than the victorious Djamel Belmadi. Algeria's tactical mastermind conducted himself with class throughout and showed an admirable number of strings to his bow,...

Algeria's AFCON title win wasn't pretty but will remain memorable

While the African Cup of Nations final may have been tough to watch, Steve Nicol says Algeria's defence deserves a lot of credit for their victory.

CAIRO -- Algeria's players ran toward the swaying mass of green and white behind the goal, some swinging from the crossbars while others could barely contain themselves from running into the stands and allowing themselves to be submerged in 15,000 of their jubilant, incredulous countrymen.

This meant everything: It meant a first Africa Cup of Nations title for almost three decades, and it meant a fresh surge of optimism for a country that has been in the throes of revolution this year.

The tears...

AFCON 2019: Will Senegal's unsung hero Idrissa Gueye finally get the credit he deserves?

Steve Nicol says Riyad Mahrez and Co. are best positioned to win Friday's African Cup of Nations final.

African football loves to laud its superstars. Images, narratives and stories surrounding Mohamed Salah dominated the first half of this Africa Cup of Nations, while Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez have stepped into the limelight during the knockout stages following the hosts' early exit.

Now some quarters are billing Friday's final between Algeria and Senegal as a showdown between Mahrez and Mane -- a re-run of the epic Manchester City-Liverpool slugfest that drove that English Premier League title...

AFCON: Algeria favourites vs. Senegal as old friends Belmadi and Cisse reunite on the touchline

Steve Nicol says Riyad Mahrez and Co. are best positioned to win Friday's African Cup of Nations final.

 For Djamel Belmadi and Aliou Cisse, there is the overwhelming sense that Friday's Africa Cup of Nations final between Algeria and Senegal was written in the stars. It is not so long since they were lining up opposite each other at youth competitions in Champigny-sur-Marne, a dormitory town outside of Paris. On Friday they will walk out together in the crucible of Cairo International Stadium, holding their respective countries' footballing fates in their hands.

"It is fate," said Belmadi,...