Algeria ended the first half 1-0 up, and had a golden chance to bury the game just after the break. Bounedjah won a penalty 25 seconds into the second half, and looked confident to double Les Fennecs lead. But his shot from the spot kissed the crossbar on its way out.
Things were getting even worse for Bounedjah. He missed a one on one situation with Ivorian goalkeeper Sylvain Gbouho, before Les Elephants found the equalizer two minutes after the hour mark. Looking totally stressed, Algeria’s coach Djamel Belmadi opted to substitute him out. And it was then when he started crying on the bench.
His tears did not stop, and when Youcef Belaili missed from the spot he looked on his way to total collapse. But fortunately Algeria emerged victorious, and finally his tears turned into joyful ones, while his teammates took him to their supporters to cheer him up.
Bounedjah (27) is one of the tournament’s best strikers and played a vital role in his side’s first goal on the night, and collectively in them reaching the semifinals.
He was trending on twitter and social media platforms that kept sharing his photos and videos, as a symbol of sincere heart feelings and love to his country. But he will have to forget all that and focus on helping Les Fennecs in their tricky mission against Nigeria’s Super Eagles this Sunday in the semifinal at Cairo International Stadium.