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Arab Cup

Sayoud and Brahimi fire Algeria to Fifa Arab Cup glory

07:16 GMT 19/12/2021
Algeria
Djamel Belmadi’s Greens claimed the trophy for the first time after overcoming the Carthage Eagles

Algeria were crowned as champions of the 2021 Fifa Arab Cup after defeating Tunisia 2-0 in extra time in Saturday’s final.

Goals from Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi propelled the Greens to the inaugural title at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

Heading into the blockbuster fixture, the Carthage Eagles had defeated Egypt 1-0 in the semi-final clash while Djamel Belmadi’s men overcame hosts Qatar 2-1 in the other last four game.

In the encounter characterised by shocking misses, Almoez Ali set the ball rolling by firing over from close range. Algeria’s Tayeb Meziani then shockingly missed the target from a very close range.

At the end of 90 minutes with the two sides locked at 0-0, the North Africans progressed into extra time as a winner had to emerge.

However, it was the reigning African champions Algeria, who broke the deadlock in the 99th minute as Sayoud drilled a stunning strike past goalkeeper Mouez Hassen.

Brahimi guaranteed the triumph with a late effort after racing through unopposed to slot home the easiest goal of his career.

“I present this victory to the Algerian people,” Sayoud told media.

“I missed other scoring chances, but I finally managed to find the net to give the victory to my team.”

Earlier in the day, Qatar defeated the Pharaohs of Egypt 5-4 on penalties after the match had ended in a 0-0 draw after 120 minutes. Ahmed Hegazi and Mohamed Sherif missed their kicks, while the home side converted five out of their six penalties.

Brahimi walked home with the Golden Ball, while his teammate Youcef Belaili picked up the Silver Ball. The Bronze ball went to Qatar striker Akram Afif.

Having scored four times, Tunisia’s Seifeddine Jaziri won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s leading scorer, with the Golden Glove going to veteran Algeria keeper Rais Mbolhi.

Thanks to their accomplishment, Algeria received a whopping $5.75 million as prize money, while second-placed Tunisia scooped $3.75 million.

The Fifa Arab Cup was staged to act as a preparatory competition to test the operational readiness of the Middle East nation ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

For Algeria, the championship was a dress rehearsal as they commence their Africa Cup of Nations title defence in January.

Belmadi’s men are zoned in Group E alongside Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire.