Africa Cup of Nations 2019: Algeria 2-1 Nigeria - 4 talking points
- Four talking points from the highly entertaining clash.
Algeria and Nigeria battled it out for a spot in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, with the Desert Foxes running out 2-1 winners at the Cairo International Stadium.
In what was the second North vs West African semifinal, the North African side progressed at the expense of the West African giants, making up for the ouster of their neighbors Tunisia at hands of another West African side.
Algeria would now face Senegal in the final on July 19 and in this piece, we shall be presenting four talking points from the entertaining game.
#4 VAR comes into play
Ever since the introduction of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in 2016, the technological initiative has had its fair share of detractors, with some in support, while others are against its use.
Having gone mainstream at the last World Cup in Russia, VAR has been implemented across different leagues, with the Premier League set to kickstart its use next season.
CAF decided to use VAR at the 2019 Nations Cup, but only from the quarterfinals onwards and it came into play in the first fixture of the round, canceling two of Senegal's goals in their quarterfinal tie with Benin.
In the game between Nigeria and South Africa, it was also used to belatedly award a goal to the Bafana Bafana after it had erroneously been ruled out for offside.
Having been on the receiving end of VAR, Nigeria benefited from it in the game against Algeria, as despite being initially being waved away, referee Bakary Papa Gassama awarded a penalty to the Super Eagles after reviewing that the ball had indeed touched the arm of Aissa Mandi in the penalty box.
The resultant spot-kick was buried by Odion Ighalo and even though the effort ultimately proved futile, it was another positive indicator for the use of VAR.