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Senegal Are Champions of Africa

3 Min Read

Senegal won the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in the Olembé stadium of Yaoundé, Cameroon after beating 7-time champion Egypt on Sunday night with a 4-2 win in the penalty shoot-out.

The victory crowned an entire tournament for Sadio Mané’s teammates. Starting in the 4th minute, Mohamed Abou Gabal, the Egyptian goalkeeper, made a save. This missed penalty did not get the fingers of the Senegalese burnt. Despite a 57% ball possession Senegalese faced a phenomenal Egyptian goalkeeper.

Sadio Mane scored the winning spot-kick as Senegal claimed a first ever Africa Cup of Nations title.

Mane had missed an early penalty in the game but stepped up to make history for the west African nation, and banish the memories of their 2019 failure when they lost the final to Algeria.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy saved from Mohanad Lasheen in the shootout to allow Mane the chance to seal the win and gain just reward for Senegal, who had been by far the better side in the final but spurned numerous opportunities to win the game.

Egypt had their goalkeeper Gabaski to thank for getting them into the shootout at the Olembe Stadium as he was outstanding in keeping Senegal at bay in what was the fourth time in as many games they had played extra time in energy-sapping conditions.

Egypt, who had to do without suspended coach Carlos Queiroz in the dug-out, battled to get into the game and created only half-chances, with their talisman Mohamed Salah largely ineffective.

Salah was in tears at the end, having also lost the 2017 final to Cameroon and seeing his Liverpool team mate Mane seal his fate this time round.

Senegal fluffed the chance for an early lead when Mohamed Abdelmonem’s late, reckless challenge brought down left back Saliou Ciss.

Salah had a lengthy conversation with Gabaski before Mane stepped up to take the spot-kick. The latter went for power straight down the middle of the goal but his effort was saved, the 10th penalty miss in the tournament.