Algeria reach Arab Cup semis with thrilling shootout win over Morocco

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 Dec 2021

Algeria qualified for the FIFA Arab Cup semi-final with a 5-3 shootout win over Morocco following a thrilling 2-2 draw in an end-to-end quarter-final clash on Saturday.

Algeria s players lift national and Palestinian flags as they celebrate their win during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 quarter final football match between Morocco and Algeria at the Al-Thumama Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on December 11, 2021 (AFP)

Karim El Berkaoui's fourth spot-kick was saved by keeper Rais M'Bolhi before defender Mohamed Amine Tougai converted Algeria's fifth penalty to lift his side to the last four.

Both sides traded punches in the Arab Cup's most exciting affair so far amid incessant chants from the enthusiastic supporters who packed Qatar's Al Thumama Stadium.

Algeria midfielder Yacine Brahimi broke the deadlock on 62 minutes after converting a penalty, awarded after lively winger Youcef Belaili was tripped by defender Mohamed Chibi  

But Morocco needed just two minutes to level the score, Mohammed Nahiri heading home at the far post after being left unmarked.

Belaili then stole the show with a sublime strike from almost the halfway line to restore Algeria's advantage 12 minutes into the first half of extra time.

After controlling a long ball, he spotted Morocco keeper Anas Zniti off his goal to catch him out with an unstoppable volley.

But Morocco central defender Badr Benoun, who plays for Egyptian giants Ahly, took the game to penalties with a superb header that found the far corner of the net in the 111st minute.

Algeria face another mouthwatering semi-final clash against hosts Qatar on Wednesday. Egypt meet Tunisia in the other last-four game.

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