Algeria won their maiden Arab Cup with a 2-0 win against Tunisia on Saturday after extra-time goals from substitute Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi in Al Khor. The victory backs up their credentials for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Algeria Beat Tunisia to Win World Cup Maiden Edition
It also underscores North Africa’s domination in a tournament that served as a World Cup dress rehearsal for Qatari organizers. The African Cup of Nations champions played the first 90 minutes without a goal but found the opener nine minutes into extra time. The opener came from Sayoud. Tunisians created opportunities and dangers of their own but failed to capitalize.
With the last kick of the game, talisman and Qatar-based Yacine Brahimi, clean through on goal, wrapped up the 2-0 victory in the 125th minute to deservedly crown Algeria champions after a formidable tournament.
Algeria had also left it very late in their semi-final against hosts Qatar when Youcef Belaili netted a winner in the 17th minute of injury time. Because of the goal, Qatari club Qatar SC terminated Belaili’s contract.
On Instagram, Belaili, who had been at the Doha club since 2020, wrote: “Thank you very much to Qatar SC for the moments spent by your side and a huge thank you to the fans and the management. Now I am a free agent.”
Saturday’s final demonstrated the best and the worst of North African derbies, with fine build-up play and skillful combinations as well as sloppy passages of play and theatrical interludes.
Algeria and Tunisia were very clinical and put out a very good fight. They could not find anything to separate the two sides in Doha until Sayoud struck left-footed in extra time to leave Tunisia’s goalkeeper Mouez Hassen no chance.
Tunisia almost had the equalizer from Mohamed Benalarbi and Ghailene Chaalali, but they failed to before Brahimi decided the match when Tunisia left their goal undefended. The tournament is said to be a warm-up tournament for Fifa World Cup which comes up next year.
The African continent had six representatives at the tournament. Both Sudan and Mauritania exited the competition bottom of their group, but Morocco emerged as strong contenders, scoring nine goals without conceding to be one of four teams – alongside Qatar, Algeria, and Egypt – to progress unbeaten from the first round.