Senegal Are Crowned AFCON CHAMPIONS For The First Time Ever Following Win Over Egypt

Sadio Mane sealed a historic first ever Africa Cup of Nations title for Senegal having converted a crucial penalty-kick for the Teranga Lions who secured 4-2 victory via penalties.

The final at the Γ“lembe Stadium on Sunday,  burst into life in the fourth minute when full-back Saliou Ciss was brought down inside the Egypt penalty area by Mohamed Abdelmonem. There was no hesitation from South-African referee Victor Gomes, who pointed to the spot to hand Senegal an early chance of the lead.

It happened that as Ciss was receiving treatment after the challenge, Salah was spotted giving advice to his goalkeeper regarding where his Liverpool team-mate's would play his penalty.

Mane then blew an early chance to give Senegal the lead when his penalty was dramatically saved by Egyptian Goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal known as (Gabaski) who dived to his his right to keep it out, as the game remained goalless.

Both teams had chances, but they couldn't be separated after 120 minutes of football and Mane might have been wondering whether his early penalty miss was going to prove costly.

However, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy proved to be the hero for Senegal on the night, saving substitute Mohanad Lasheen's penalty before Mane's redemption was complete.

The Liverpool forward powered the ball past Gabaski and into the bottom corner to spark wild Senegal celebrations as they sealed AFCON glory and first ever international trophy.

It's the third time of asking for Senegal after loosing the 2002 final on penalties to Cameroon in which Head coach Aliou CissΓ© who was the captain of the team at the time missed his kick in the shoot-out. Few months later, they became one of just three African teams to reach a World Cup quarter-final

Senegal also narrowly lost the 2019 final to Algeria following a 1-0 defeat.

Aliou Cisse, said at his post-match press conference: “I am African champion. It was long, it was difficult, sometimes complicated, but we never gave up.

“I dedicate this victory to the Senegalese people. For years, we have been chasing this cup. Today we will be able to put a star on our jersey.

“Winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has a special meaning. Winning against the most successful team in Africa is another symbol.”

“For almost seven years, we have been working. Good job, guys.”

Meanwhile, Salah was consoled by his Liverpool team-mate Mane, having missed out on the chance of leading Egypt to an eighth AFCON title after penalty heartbreak.The Liverpool star was left in tears at the end, having also lost the 2017 final to Cameroon.

Egypt Coach Carlos Queiroz watched the game from the stands after being suspended, and it was left to his assistant Diaa al-Sayed to sum up skipper Salah’s disappointment.

He said: “Salah is a world-class player and his attitude is the same as anyone else. He was determined to win.

“He has played in and won big competitions in Europe, but he really wanted to win this trophy for his country.

“With him, we want to qualify for the World Cup. He is just like the captain of any team. He is disappointed that he didn’t achieve his goal.”


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