Nigeria defeated Algeria in 1980 to win their maiden Nation Cup, Algeria defeated Nigeria in 1990 to win their only Nations Cup.
When the two teams met at the semifinals of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, the Atlas Lions triumphed over the Super Eagles 2-1 to qualify for their first final in 29 years.
An own goal by William Troost-Ekong and a last-minute freekick by Riyad Mahrez saw Algeria overcome Nigeria who had scored an equalizer through Odion Igalo.
It was obvious none of the teams was going to sit back and wait for the other and they tried to have a go at each other with Algeria asking most of the questions.
The moment that separated both sides going into the break came in the 39th minute when Riyad Mahrez’s cross was deflected in the Nigerian goal by Udinese defender Ekong.
Algerian were never going to concede easily, in the past five games, they had scored ten and only conceded once against Ivory Coast in the quarterfinals.
Nigerian had to pull off something special to break Algeria’s defense, Aissa Mandi and Djamel Benlamri kept Ighalo under watch all through.
In the 70th minute Video Assistant Referee awarded Nigeria a penalty after Aissa handled Peter Etebo’s volley, the former was also booked.
Ighalo stepped up, facing Rais Mbolhi, he kept his cool and gave Nigeria the lifeline they were searching for but not for long.
In added time, Ismael Bennacer rattled the woodwork as Nigerian survived another scare, in what would be the last kick of the game, the Empoli man Bennacer won Algeria a freekick at the edge of the area.
Mahrez stepped up and made no mistake, sending Algeria to their first final since 1990, they will play Senegal on July 19th at the Cairo International Stadium.