After nine action-packed match days over the last two and a half weeks, the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 came to a climax on Saturday with Algeria lifting the trophy with a 2-0 win against Tunisia from substitutes Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi.
This is after they had won against Egypt, Morocco and host Qatar that are seen as the best teams in the Arab world.
This victory emphasizes North Africa's dominance in a tournament that served as a World Cup dress rehearsal for Qatari organisers.
Defender of the Agerian team, Ilyes Chetti expressed his appreciation to the fans
"…they supported us with all their might. We saw videos of fans in Algeria. This is something that gave us motivation and helped us win this championship."
"... we put in so much effort, a strenuous effort. We played a big match every three days. We deserved to win this championship." Hillal Soudani, Algeria forward added.
The African continent had six representatives at the tournament, which was last staged in 2012 hosted by Saudi Arabia, but revived by Fifa in an expanded 16-team format to include more participants from across the Arab world and test Qatar's readiness for the World Cup.
Algeria's Arab Cup victory, however, reinforces their authorizations to defend their continental crown in January when they start their campaign Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone in Group E.
Over 500,000 tickets were sold for the 32 matches across six stadiums which are all World Cup venues.
The Arab Cup allowed Qatar's 2022 World Cup organisers to test operations and stage the matches in a bio-secure way through the introduction of Fan IDs and a local contract-tracing application.
The quarter-final between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates at the Al-Bayt Stadium drew 63,439 fans, the single highest attendance ever for a sporting event in Qatar.