Senegal coach Aliou Cisse shakes hands with Krèpin Diatta after their defeat

Senegal’s coach, Aliou Cisse, says his team lost the Africa Cup of Nations final to Algeria despite being the better side.

“We conceded way too early,” said Aliou Cisse, who played in the side beaten on penalties in the 2002 final.

“I think over the course of the match, we deserved to equalise. Tonight, I wanted to congratulate my players. We’ve been here for 46 days. We wanted it, but it wasn’t our night.”

Algeria won the Africa Cup of Nations for the second time on Friday when a freak second-minute goal by Baghdad Bounedjah gave them a 1-0 win over gallant Senegal in the final.

Bounedjah, who missed a penalty in the quarter-final against Ivory Coast and spent the last few minutes of that game in tears after being substituted, stunned the Lions of Teranga with a shot which took a wicked deflection off Salif Sane and looped over the bewildered goalkeeper Alfred Gomis and into the net.

Algeria, who committed 32 fouls according to official match statistics, sat back after that and had to scrap for their win in a match that was certainly not a classic but was tense and gripping throughout.

Senegal, beaten by Cameroon on their only previous appearance in the final in 2002, were awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but the decision was revoked following a VAR review.

Senegal were missing Kalidou Koulibaly, arguably Africa’s finest defender, through suspension and his absence was quickly felt.

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