SAN FRANCISCO, July 12, (THEWILL) – Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title favourites Algeria defeated the Côte d’Ivoire 4-3 on penalties in Suez Thursday to the relief of Baghdad Bounedjah and set up a semi-final showdown with Nigeria.
The quarter-final finished 1-1 after extra time with Sofiane Feghouli giving Algeria a 20th-minute lead that was cancelled by Jonathan Kodjia on 62 minutes.
In the shootout, Youcef Belaili struck the woodwork when he had a chance to clinch victory for Algeria, and then Côte d’Ivoire captain Serey Die hit the same post and his team were eliminated.
Forward Bounedjah missed a penalty in the second half of regular time and was visibly upset by his failure, fearing it would cost Algeria a first last-four place since 2010.
This was the eighth Cup of Nations meeting between the countries with Côte d’Ivoire holding a 3-2 lead and two matches were drawn.
Meanwhile, Tunisia ended Madagascar’s remarkable run when they beat the rank outsiders 3-0 in their quarter-final on Thursday.
Madagascar, a country with little football tradition and who had not been expected to progress beyond the group stage on their first appearance at the finals, held out until the second half.
They were first undone by Ferjani Sassi’s deflected shot.
Youssef Msakni added a second on the hour for the Carthage Eagles, ranked 25th in the world against Madagascar’s 107th.
And substitute Naim Sliti finished it off on the break in stoppage time to earn them a semi-final against Senegal on Sunday.
Tunisia had drawn their previous four matches at the tournament, beating Ghana on penalties in the last 16.