Algeria beats Ivory Coast on penalties to make semis

SUEZ, Egypt (AP) — Algeria blew a 1-0 lead and a penalty in regulation time before scraping past Ivory Coast in a shootout to make the semifinals at the African Cup of Nations on Thursday.

The dramatic shootout, which Algeria won 4-3, capped a pulsating quarterfinal.

Wilfried Bony had his penalty saved in the shootout by Rais Mbolhi to give Algeria the advantage. But Youcef Belaili hit the post with a spot kick that would have won it for the Algerians.

Straight after, Ivory Coast captain Serey Die had to score to send the shootout to sudden death, and he cannoned his penalty off the same post to finally seal victory for the Algerians.

Die fell back flat on his back and put his hands over his face after his miss as the Algerians sprinted to the end of the field to celebrate with Mbolhi.

Algeria led in regulation after Sofiane Feghouli’s goal in the 20th minute. Striker Baghdad Bounedjah missed a penalty for Algeria soon after halftime, and Jonathan Kodjia equalized for Ivory Coast.

Bounedjah won the penalty himself when he was taken out by Ivory Coast goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo. With the chance to give Algeria a 2-0 lead, he hit his penalty high down the middle, and it clipped the crossbar and went over.

Ivory Coast took advantage.

Wilfried Zaha made a surging run and found Kodjia on the right. He cut in and put his shot in the bottom corner.

Bounedjah was substituted in the second half and spent the rest of the game in tears on the bench, fearing his miss had cost Algeria a place in the last four.

It didn’t, and Algeria still has the chance to win a second African title and first since 1990.

Algeria will play Nigeria in Sunday’s semifinals. Senegal is the other team already in the semis and will face the winner of the last quarter between Tunisia and Madagascar.

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