Algeria win FIFA Arab Cup 2021

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 18 Dec 2021

Algeria won the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup - their first-ever Arab Cup - after beating Tunisia 2-0 in extra time in the final held in Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar on Saturday.

Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi holds up the winner trophy after received it from Qatar s Emir Sheikh
Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi holds up the winner trophy after received it from Qatar s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, second right, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino, right, end of the Arab Cup final soccer match between Tunisia and Algeria at the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. Algeria won 2-0. AP

Amir Sa'youd, 31, opened the score in the 99th minute after sending a rocket that could not be suspended by Tunisia goalie.

Yacine Brahimi, 31, secured the victory for Algeria one minute before the final whistle after reaching the empty nets as Tinisia made a last ditch, all-out effort to equalise.

“I present this victory to Algerian people,” Sa'youd said after the game.

“I missed other scoring chances but I finally managed to find the net to give the victory to my team,” the one-time Egyptian Ahly side forward said.

Brahimi won the tournament’s golden ball and his goalie Rais M'Bolhi, 35, walked away with best keeper.

The Arab Cup in Qatar is the first-ever all-Arab competition to be organised by the FIFA as it prepares for the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup that will also be held in Qatar, which is will take place by the end of next year.

“I am proud of my players’ achievement,” Algeria coach Abdel Madjid Bougherra said.

“I said before the tournament if you want to claim the title you have to beat the topflight teams,” Bougherra added.

The two sides finished the full time with a goalless draw then the match went into extra time, where Algeria prevailed and Tunisia endured a disappointing night.

The Arab Cup’s first edition was held in 1963 in Lebanon.

After two more editions in 1964 and 1966, the tournament was halted for almost 20 years before being revived in 1985.

The tournament was then played five more times until 2012 when it was again suspended - this time for 9 years - due to the busy agenda of Arab teams.

Most of the participants in this edition of the Arab Cup did not show up in Qatar with their A teams since the tournament was not listed on the FIFA international agenda.

Iraq won the Arab Cup trophies the most with four trophies under their belt, followed by Saudi Arabia with two titles — and each of Egypt and Tunisia with one cup.

The winner of the FIFA Arab Cup Algeria will be receive $5 million, while the runner-up Tunisians will claim $3 million.

Earler in the day, Qatar secured third place in the tournament after beating Egypt in a penalty shootout.

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