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Mohammed Belaili converted a penalty kick in the 17th minute of stoppage time to send Algeria to the final of the FIFA Arab Cup after knocking out hosts Qatar 2-1 in a lively and pulsating semi-final at Al Thumama Stadium on Wednesday.

A 60th-minute goal by Benlamri Djamel helped Algeria take the lead but a dramatic end to the match was witnessed with Qatar equalising through Mohammed Muntari in the seventh minute of injury time.

The match seemed to be heading for extra time before Algeria was awarded a penalty kick, which was converted after the initial effort was saved by Qatar’s goal-keeper Saad Alsheeb.

Referee Szymon Marciniak had officially added nine minutes of injury time, but that was extended to make up for the time spent during a video assistant referee (VAR) check of a suspected foul in the lead-up to Qatar’s goal.

The Qatari goal eventually counted, but Algeria was able to win a penalty in the final moments of the game, minutes later.

Al Jazeera’s Andy Richardson, reporting from Al Thumama Stadium, said it was “a really confusing end to what had been a pretty straight-forward game for most of it”.

“The end result not what many of the organisers and the fans here would have wanted,” said Richardson. “Qatar will be going through to a third-place playoff on Saturday against Egypt.”

Algeria will take on Tunisia in Sunday’s final, with the latter having edged out Egypt in the first semi-final earlier in the day.

An injury time own-goal helped Tunisia snatch victory with virtually the last kick of the game in a 1-0 win over Egypt.

Amr El Sulaya, the Egyptian captain, flicked a last-gasp free kick into his own net four minutes into stoppage time to break the deadlock between the north African rivals at the newly built Stadium 974 and sent Tunisia into the final.

This content was originally published here.

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