Senegal and Algeria will attempt to secure their place in Africa Cup of Nations history in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Senegal, the 2002 runners-up, are desperate to end a long wait for a first continental title, while Algeria is looking to add to the trophy they lifted as hosts 29 years ago.
With the stakes so high passions are mounting across the continent and elsewhere, notably in France where celebrations have overflowed into violence earlier in the tournament.
For Senegal, Africa’s top-ranked side, the ride to the final has encountered its share of bumps in the road but there is little doubt the showpiece at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium will feature the tournament’s two standout teams.
A Youcef Belaili goal gave Algeria a 1-0 win when the countries met in the group stage, but this time there is no second chance with Cup of Nations immortality awaiting the victor.
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is on a mission for personal redemption as the skipper of the side beaten on penalties in 2002 final, when his missed kick handed the title to Cameroon.