A second-minute goal from Baghdad Bounedjah was enough for Algeria to seal a 1-0 win against Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
It was an unusual goal that ultimately sealed the title as Bounedjah's shot pinged off Salif Sane's leg before looping into the back of the net, with Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis left stranded.
But Senegal's defeat was not through lack of trying. They had 62.2 per cent of possession and some superb second-half chances, as well as a withdrawn penalty after a VAR review.
They were unable to go one better than their last appearance in an Africa Cup of Nations final in 2002, while Algeria have won the competition for the second time.
How Algeria claimed the cup
Algeria had the dream start in Cairo as they took the lead inside two minutes. Ismael Bennacer slipped the ball down the wing for Bounedjah, who got ahead of Cheikhou Kouyate to stride towards the edge of the area. He hit a powerful drive that deflected off the outstretched leg of Sane and looped into the net.
Senegal: Gomis (6), Sane (6), Kouyate (7), Sabaly (7), Gassama (6), Gueye (6), Saivet (7), Ndiaye (6), Niang (7), Mane (6), Sarr (7).
Subs used: Diatta (5), Diagne (4), Balde (n/a).
Algeria: M'Bolhi (7), Mandi (6), Benlamri (7), Zeffane (6), Bensebaini (6), Mahrez (7), Feghouli (6), Guedioura (7), Bennacer (7), Belaili (7), Bounedjah (6).
Subs used: Taharat (n/a), Brahimi (n/a), Slimani (n/a).
The remainder of the half had few clear-cut chances but was littered with fouls and free-kicks - mostly in Senegal's favour. Their best chance of the half came in the 38th minute as M'Baye Niang tried to curl a volley into the far corner but it just fizzed past the post.
Senegal went close again in the 58th minute as Sadio Mane had a rare moment of brilliance. Youssouf Sabaly touched the ball into his path and he wriggled into space inside the area before trying to hammer home - losing a boot in the process. However, Algeria defender Djamel Benlamri was there to block inside the six-yard box.
Two minutes later Senegal thought they had the lifeline of a penalty as Ismaila Sarr's cross hit the arm of Adlene Guedioura, although he had them very close to his body. Referee Sidi Alioum initially pointed to the spot, but the decision was checked with VAR and after a short consultation, the decision was - correctly - reversed.
Despite time not being on their side, Senegal continued to see chances come their way. Niang raced onto a superb through-ball with Algeria goalkeeper Rais M'Bohli coming out to try and smother. However, the Senegal forward rounded him but took on his shot too quickly and it flew over. Not long after, Sabaly tried his luck with a wonderful strike from range, but again, it went wide.
Senegal continued to probe in the Algeria half and with seven minutes to play they spurned another glorious chance. Sarr collected a loose defensive header after a corner and sent it goalwards with his first touch, but it went over the crossbar once again.
But ultimately, Algeria did well to ride the wave of the Senegal's second-half pressure as they claimed their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1990.