Algeria booked their place in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 semifinals with a penalty shootout win over the Ivory Coast. Elsewhere, Madagascar's fairytale ended as Tunisia picked up their first win of the competition.
Ivory Coast 1-1 Algeria (Algeria win 4-3 on penalties)
(Feghouli 20', Kodija 62')
Algeria needed extra time and penalties to book their place in the Africa Cup of Nations semifinal after a thrilling quarterfinal tie in Suez on Thursday evening.
Les Elephants looked sharp early and saw a Max Gradel effort tipped onto the post by Rais M'Bolhi. Yet it was Algeria who broke the deadlock, profiting from some questionable defending with Sofiane Feghouli sweeping home Ramy Bensebaini's cross.
Boasting a narrow lead at the break, Algeria were gifted a golden opportunity to double their advantage soon after the restart. After being brought down by goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo in the box though, Baghdad Bounedjah could only hit the bar with his resulting penalty.
Galvanized by the miss, the Ivory Coast went in search of an equalizer which came courtesy of Jonathan Kodija who found the bottom-left corner with the first goal Algeria had conceded at AFCON 2019. Premier League aces Riyad Mahrez and Wilfried Zaha both spurned chances to win the game in normal time, and in the end it took extra time and penalties to decide a pulsating quarterfinal.
After Wilfried Bony saw his spot kick saved, the Ivory Coast were handed a lifeline when Algeria's Youcef Belaili struck the post. However, when Serey Die followed suit with the final penalty, Algeria were left to celebrate booking a semifinal date with Nigeria.
Madagascar 0-3 Tunisia
(Sassi 52', Mskani 60', Sliti 90+3')
Madagascar's fairy-tale Africa Cup of Nations campaign came to a grinding halt at the quarterfinal stage after Tunisia picked up a 2-0 win, their first of the tournament, at the expense of the islanders.
Goalmouth action was at a premium during the opening exchanges of the tie at Cairo's Al Salam Stadium. Tunisia did their best to test Melvin Adrien as often as possible during a turgid first half, but the Madagascar keeper was equal to all their efforts with Whabi Khazri's 33rd-minute free kick drawing the finest of saves.
The tie came to life in the second half that started with Khazri having a goal correctly disallowed for offside less than two minutes after the restart. Tunisia were not to be denied twice though and took the lead within five minutes of the decision when Ferjani Sassi's shot took a wicked deflection before nestling in the net.
With Madagascar struggling to recreate the magic of their incredible run to the quarterfinals, Tunisia pounced again. Adrien did well to deny Khazri's initial effort, but having failed to keep hold of the ball, was rooted to the spot as Youssef Msakni converted on the rebound. The minnows didn't muster up much of a comeback in the closing stages as Tunisia added a third with Naim Sliti chipping home on the counter to end their run of four successive draws to set up a semifinal tie with Senegal.