Hosts Algeria will play Senegal in the final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) after both sides won their semi-finals on Tuesday.
Fennec Foxes’ striker Ayem Mahious, the tournament’s leading scorer, contributed two goals as the hosts comprehensively beat Niger 5-0.
The 25-year-old, who plays for USM Alger in the Algerian top flight, scored his fourth and fifth goals of the tournament in the first half to set up an emphatic victory in Oran.
Captain Ayoub Abdellaoui, formerly of Swiss club Sion and currently with MC Alger, and substitute Sofiane Bayazid were also on target while Algeria had Niger defender Boureima Katakore to thank for an own goal.
The score-line matched the biggest victory in the 15-year history of CHAN and was the widest winning margin in a semi-final, surpassing the 4-0 success for Morocco against Cameroon in the last edition two years ago.
In the other semi-final, Senegal progressed with a slender 1-0 victory over Madagascar in their first appearance in the CHAN – the tournament for African players based in the continent’s own domestic leagues – for 12 years.
Pape Diallo, 18, scored the all-important goal, heading into the net five minutes after some indecision from Madagascar goalkeeper Zakanirina Rakotoasimbola.
The final between Algeria and Senegal will take place at the Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers on Saturday with 40,000 people expected to attend.
Both nations now target lifting the trophy for the first time to succeed Morocco, who won the fifth and sixth editions of CHAN but opted out of this year’s competition amid diplomatic tensions with their North African neighbours.