We have arrived at the conclusion of this year’s exciting Africa Cup of Nations and the final will be played on Friday evening with an 8.00pm GMT kick-off. Play started on the 32nd edition of the world-famous tournament on 21 June when 24 teams arrived for action in host nation Egypt.
The original pack was whittled down to just four and on Friday followers see Senegal and Algeria go head-to-head for a place in the history books. Which side will come out on top? If this summer’s tournament has taught us anything it’s that punters can take nothing for granted and we’ve already had our fair share of upsets and shock results.
Bookmakers Side with Senegal
Bookmakers have had their say and are pinning their hopes on a win for Senegal, marking them as favourites. As you might expect, there’s very little between the sides in the match betting market and if traders are correct here, we are in for a fascinating 90 minutes with extra-time and penalties and real possibility. The current betting has Senegal best price 37/20 with Unibet – 17/10 with most firms – Algeria being offered at 15/8 (Betway), the draw a 51/25 option when getting your stake money down with Marathonbet.
Who will come out on top and where should punters place their stake money? Knowing the answers to those questions will be the difference between watching the final as an interested spectator and cheering on a profit. Live football is something special, but it can’t quite compare to making money from watching the game and that is every gambler’s dream scenario.
Dramatic Semi-Final Win
Senegal booked their place in the final with an impressive win over Tunisia on Sunday in the semis. They needed extra time to sneak past a dogged opponent who fancied themselves good enough for another crack at the outright prize but after 30 extra minutes of play it was Senegal who were cheering. Bronn suffered the agony of scoring an own-goal with 100 minutes on the clock gifting Senegal – who have never won this competition – a real chance at landing a maiden title.
Both teams had penalties saved in normal time of what was a nail-biting contest plagued by nerves. The match stats showed possession at 51%-49% in Senegal’s favour with plenty of shots at goal but very little on target. It was a fixture neither side really deserved to lose, and a draw was a fair result at the conclusion of the 90 minutes, but football is an unforgiving sport and we had to push for a winner. Senegal and their fans are now just one game away from the prize.
Mahrez Strikes Late
Opponents Algeria have been over course and distance a couple of times before and booked their place in the final two with a stunning 2-1 win over Algeria on the same day. A game with much more goalmouth action and plenty more for fans to cheer, it was a thriller from start to finish with both teams going on the front foot early, confident in their ability to grab the desired result.
It was another fixture packed with late drama with two of the three goals struck after the 70th minute, the winner in injury time. Troost-Ekong knocked in an own-goal just before half-time to give Algeria a lead and that advantage lasted until the 72nd minute when Ighalo levelled things from the penalty spot. Like the other semi-final, this one looked like it was heading for extra-time but there was to be one final twist in the tale. Premier League star Mahrez rifled home a stunning winner on 95 minutes to send his side through to the final.
Algeria the Most Impressive
There’s no doubt Algeria were the better team of the two in the semis and the fact they have experience and a bigger price attached tells us the underdogs are sure to be popular in the betting. There are many ways you can gamble on this tie without picking sides, however.
Both teams to score makes plenty of appeal at 5/4 – top price with bet365 – the draw no bet option covers against a stalemate at 5/6 Senegal and 5/6 Algeria. You can also wager on the total goals scored in 90 minutes. Under 2.5 trades at 23/50 (Marathonbet) with over the same mark yours at 15/8 when getting your cash down with bet365.