Algeria has been rocked by months of protests finds a moment of unity as the country wins the African Cup of Nations for the second time.

Dakar, Senegal - Overnight, the streets of Dakar turned red, yellow and green with the colours of the flag being spray-painted on tires and tarmac in preparation for the final 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) match that was held yesterday in Egypt between Algeria and Senegal.

The capital of Senegal getting ready to for the African Cup of Nations.
The capital of Senegal getting ready to for the African Cup of Nations. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

Senegal had not made it to the Afcon finals since 2002 when it was the runner-up that lost against Cameroon. Since then, the national Lions of Terranga team have not made it past 8th finals in the biennial cup.

Senegalese fans engaging in pre-match celebrations through the streets of Dakar.
Senegalese fans engaging in pre-match celebrations through the streets of Dakar. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

Dakar was energised for a hard win against Algeria in this 32nd Afcon. Algeria went into the game knowing that it had already beat Senegal during the fixture match earlier in June. 

The Algerian team, however, could boast some solid players such as former Manchester City player Ryad Mahrez, and the team has been the country to score the most goals during this Afcon.

Two women in Dakar get ready to watch to the Senegal versus Algeria match.
Two women in Dakar get ready to watch to the Senegal versus Algeria match. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

The continental championships carry a specific significance for Senegal. In 2002, it was the coach of the Senegalese team today, Aliou Cisse, who at the time was the player who missed the penalty in the finals which led to Senegal’s defeat.

The streets of Dakar were rooting for this generation to see a victory finally.

Some fans took to painting their whole bodies in green, yellow and red.
Some fans took to painting their whole bodies in green, yellow and red. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

According to the Algerian Embassy in Dakar, only a few hundred Algerians are living in Senegal.

I spoke with a 26-year-old Algerian who has been living in Dakar for the past nine years.

Mohamed Djeblia sixth-year Algerian medical student in Dakar, wishes he were in Algeria at a time like this, but he ended up watching the match from the Algerian Embassy in Dakar tonight.

‘’We are happy to reach the 2019 Afcon final. I think that it will be very interesting. We qualified as the first of the group with Senegal who were the favourites since the beginning. We won the first match against them, and after that, we started dreaming.

I have been studying in Senegal since 2010, and I have made myself here."

Senegal's small Algerian community in Dakar. In the middle wearing a green top is Algeria's Ambassador to Senegal, Boualam Hacene.
Senegal's small Algerian community in Dakar. In the middle wearing a green top is Algeria's Ambassador to Senegal, Boualam Hacene. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

"If Senegal was playing against another team, I would be supporting Senegal" adds Djebli.

I asked Djebli with the revolution that is taking place in Algeria this year does he think that this final match will have any particular signification back home?

"It’s a coincidence that there’s a revolution taking place now in Algeria, that the people are getting out to ask for their rights. Yes, it can change things because it will motivate the players, push them forward.

Maybe, however, the revolution will continue, the country will regain its rights so it would be just a plus, a plus!"

Senegalese fans engage in some pre-match gentle banter with some Dakar's few Algerians.
Senegalese fans engage in some pre-match gentle banter with some Dakar's few Algerians. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

As in Algeria, Senegal has been embroiled in scandals in particular governmental mismanagement of petrol which has divided the nation. 

Xavier, head of the breakdancing team (PowerCrew) hoped that a win for Senegal would "reunite the people."

The joy and energy of many Senegalese people during the day, turned into anguish as the ill tempered match saw Algeria dominate.
The joy and energy of many Senegalese people during the day, turned into anguish as the ill tempered match saw Algeria dominate. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

Peoples faces turned from joy to anguish as Senegalese fans watched the match live in specially designated 'fan zones'. 

Specially designated fan zones lost their cheer as the match in Senegal's capital of Dakar.
Specially designated fan zones lost their cheer as the match in Senegal's capital of Dakar. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)

Baghdad Bounedjah’s second-minute deflected goal sealed Senegal's fate early on. While Senegal had a penalty overturned by VAR. 

The West African team had their hopes dashed as Algeria secured their second continental title since 1990 before many in the current team were even born. 

Senegalese fans are unable to hide their disappointment as their team misses an opportunity to win.
Senegalese fans are unable to hide their disappointment as their team misses an opportunity to win. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)
The streets of Dakar, still bearing the signs of the country's high hopes, were deserted the morning after Senegal's devastating loss.
The streets of Dakar, still bearing the signs of the country's high hopes, were deserted the morning after Senegal's devastating loss. (Maya Hautefeuille / TRTWorld)
Source: TRT World