Algeria deserved their Afcon triumph but a shame they decided to win ugly | Jonathan Wilson

Djamel Belmadi’s side were exciting throughout the tournament yet allowed their verve to take a back seat to time-wasting and diving to edge out Senegal 1-0 in the final Why do Algeria make it so hard for themselves? They have been the best team at this Cup of Nations, and in that sense were worthy champions. But having taken an early lead against Senegal in Friday’s final and seeming dominant, they bafflingly resorted to spoiling, to diving, feigning injury and looking to pressure the officials. It brought victory, and perhaps that is enough, but play and they might have taken not only the cup but also glory. It is not just that the niggliness makes them a hard team for outsiders to love; it presumably also means that no Algerian fan can take much pleasure in watching a rerun of what should be one of the finest moments in their history. See how Baghdad Bounedjah spreads his arms and screams at the referee! Watch as Amir Bensebaini trips a Senegal forward! Wonder as Raïs Mbohli runs down the clock! Marvel as