AN own goal by William Troost-Ekong and a well-curled free kick by Riyad Mahrez in the final seconds of added time handed Algeria a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the semi-final and a place in the final to battle Senegal, who beat Tunisia 1-0 in extra time in the other semi-final.
Algeria were the best side in the early periods of the match, piling the pressure on the Nigerians and they were duly rewarded in the 40th minute, when they grabbed an unlikely opener.
Mahrez had brilliantly dribbled past left-back Jamilu Collins and then sent in a cross Troost-Ekong diverted into his own net unmarked, leaving goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi helpless.
Striker Odion Ighalo equalised in the 70th minute, sending Desert Foxes goalkeeper Rais M’Bolhi the wrong way from the penalty spot, after Aissa Mandi was caught to have handled inside the area by the Video Assistant Referee Aissa Mandi.
Nigeria were the better side in the second period for few moments, and it always looked the Algerians were the side to grab the winner.
It did come when Mahrez converted the free kick after Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi carelessly tripped Ismael Bennacer near the box.
Senegal reached the AFCON final for the second time as Tunisia defender Dylan Bronn’s extra-time own goal gave them victory.
It was the first time in 17 years that the Teranga Lions
Both sides had penalties saved in normal time before Bronn inadvertently headed the only goal of the game.
Mouez Hassen tipped Sadio Mane’s free-kick onto Bronn’s head as Senegal – who face Algeria or Nigeria – moved a step closer to their first AFCON title.
Senegal dominated the first half, producing seven shots to Tunisia’s two, with Mane spurning their best opportunity when he missed an open goal.
Tunisia improved after the interval and were awarded a penalty when Ferjani Sassi’s effort struck Kalidou Koulibaly’s arm, but Sassi’s spot-kick lacked power and direction and was saved by Alfred Gomis.
Four minutes later Senegal were given a penalty of their own when Ismaila Sarr was brought down by Bronn, but Henri Saivet’s shot was kept out by Hassen