On this day last year – 19 July 2019 – Algeria emerged as the best country in the Africa Cup of Nations that was hosted by Egypt.
While Bafana Bafana were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Nigeria, the North Africans, Algeria, were not to be denied when they faced and beat Senegal 1-0 in the decider.
After going behind, Senegal dominated for the remainder of the match but was unable to find an equalizing goal.
Midway through the second half, it looked as though Senegal had been handed a lifeline after referee Alioum Alioum awarded a penalty for handball.
However, after being advised by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to review the incident on the pitch side monitor, Alioum overturned his original decision.
It was yet more heartbreak for Senegal, which is still yet to win the greatest prize in African football.
But it will be the manner of this defeat that will hurt the most. Algeria’s goal came from its one and only shot of the game through Baghdad Bounedjah’s early deflected goal and few would argue that Senegal was the better side for the other 88 minutes of the match.
Ultimately, history remembers winners.
By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa
(additional reporting by CNN)