Having taken the lead in the 59th minute, Algeria looked like they were facing extra-time after a very late equaliser from Qatar. But incredibly, a Belaili goal in the 17th minute of additional time, after his initial penalty was saved, secured an emotional victory after an eventful game.
The FIFA Technical Study Group observed the match at the Al Thumama Stadium and, afterwards, Michel Sablon reflected on the tournament so far and discussed the process of analysis being undertaken by the TSG:
System of play
With a special focus on Algeria, Sablon has been impressed with the technical skills of the players in this team. Playing with real comfort in a consistent 4-2-3-1 system, which particularly suits the attributes of the players, Algeria have shown real quality throughout the competition as Sablon highlights:
Build-up play and progression
When we examine the head-to-head data on both teams, it's clear that each of these sides play with an intent to win the game, playing purposefully, trying to break lines. In terms of players Offering to receive, Algeria have shown greater willingness to commit numbers forward, with Brahimi and Belaili rating highly in the data sets regarding this work for their team.
The Belaili/Brahimi partnership is also one that has impressed Jürgen Klinsmann, especially when discussing the impact on Algeria of their Distribution actions leading to attempts at goal.
"Belaili and Brahimi are probably the best partnership to watch in the tournament so far. They are fun to watch. Brahimi works hard, he has a very good attitude and always makes himself available in all the attacking moments for his team. I like partnerships between players because playing in a strike pairing was so important to me as a player, and I have enjoyed watching these two combining," said Klinsmann.
Algeria have shown great versatility in how they score goals. They have scored from a build-up from their goalkeeper, from a high press, from a long ball and from a counterattack. In addition, they pose real threats from set plays, scoring three goals from corners, one from a freekick and three penalties.
Looking ahead to Saturday's final against Tunisia, Sablon is expecting a real battle between two neighbouring countries that will passionately want to win this game. He believes that Algeria will be classed as favourites going into the game but the football rivalry between them means that anything can happen, just as we've already witnessed in the thrilling semi-finals.
The FIFA Arab Cup 2021 final takes place at the Al Bayt Stadium at 6pm (Doha time) on Saturday 18th December.