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Fans set fireworks amid celebrations for Algeria qualifying for final

Fans set fireworks amid celebrations for Algeria qualifying for final

Fans set fireworks off in the streets of north London and a police car is badly damaged amid celebrations for Algeria qualifying for the African Cup of Nations final

  • Riyad Mahrez curled in an injury-time free-kick to send Algeria into the final
  • Late winner prompted wild celebrations in north London as fans set off fireworks
  • The celebrations closed the road and a police car was reportedly vandalised 
  • Locals were furious at the road closure and late-night noisy celebrations 

By Joe Middleton For Mailonline

Published: 18:52 EDT, 14 July 2019 | Updated: 04:00 EDT, 15 July 2019

Algerian football fans set off fireworks and damaged a police car in the streets of north London last night amid raucous celebrations over their team getting into the African Cup of Nations final.

The game looked to be heading for extra time before Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez curled in an injury-time free-kick to send Algeria into the final to face Senegal.

The late winner prompted wild celebrations as fans set off fireworks on Blackstock Road, in Highbury, north London.

But it appears things started to get out of hand, with a police car reportedly vandalised after people were seen jumping up a down on the windscreen.

It comes after a mother was run over and killed in front of her children in France last week by an Algerian football fan celebrating the team’s previous victory. 

Hundreds of fans descended on Blackstock Road in north London to celebrate Algeria’s win and have been setting off fireworks

Islington’s Blackstock Road has become a meeting point of London’s Algerians after football matches, with fans stopping and climbing on the top of buses after the team’s victory last week. 

Last night, hundreds of fans managed to block off the road, as social media users commented on the ‘carnage’ taking place. 

One said: ‘Blackstock Road is carnage right now after Algeria’s win the #AFCON.  

Some people later complained to the police about the noise. 

Jacqui Liddiard wrote on Facebook: ‘The Law is this country has gone to pot. Took an hour to get home from Finsbury Park tonight because of rioting in Blackstock Road.

‘Flares, fighting, cars speeding, beeping car horns, and also saw a child fall out of car window ffs and police are just standing there doing nothing.’

A tweet from Transport for London (TfL) said: ‘BLACKSTOCK ROAD – ISLINGTON, N4 2DE. Road closed in both directions at the junction with Rock Street due to football celebrations. Route 4 is diverted via Highbury Corner and Holloway Road.’

Algeria, who face Senegal in Friday’s final, dominated the first half and should have had more than a 1-0 lead to show for it, courtesy of a William Troost Ekong own goal.

Nigeria equalised out of the blue midway through the second half with a penalty for handball converted by Odion Ighalo, his fourth goal of the tournament, after a lengthy VAR review.

The hundreds of fans have managed to block off the road, as social media users commented on the ‘carnage’ taking place

The celebrations filled the sky above north London with red, yellow and green smoke

There were ugly scenes in the crowd as bottles were thrown after the equaliser.

‘It was a very, very tough game against a strong team,’ said Mahrez, who plays for English champions Manchester City.

‘We were 1-0 up, good in the game and this decision of the VAR, of the penalty. ..they scored and we have this free kick and we scored, so we are very, very happy because to be in the final of Afcon is unbelievable.’

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police were called at around 20:49hrs on Sunday, 14 July to Blackstock Road N4 following reports of a group of football fans beginning to gather in the street. Officers attended.

‘Some members of the group began setting off fireworks before the crowd grew as the football match concluded. Road closures were put in place.

‘There are no reports of any injuries to officers or members of the public.

‘A police vehicle has sustained damage to its windshield. There have been no arrests. Police remain at the scene.’

Last week in France, celebrations by Algeria fans turned into a riot. Footage: Fans in Paris

Last Thursday night in Paris, a night of wild celebrations turned to violence after Algeria defeated Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties in Egypt to reach the semi finals of the competition.

Dozens were arrested while three motorcycle dealerships were looted around the Champs Elysee as police used teargas on supporters.

In the southern city of Montpellier, a woman was run over and killed while her one-year-old baby was seriously injured when a 21-year-old Algeria fan lost control of his car at high speed.

Another of the victim’s daughters, a 17-year-old, suffered an ankle injury. The driver was later arrested.

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