AFCON  2021: Teranga Lions Maul Pharaohs as Senegal Beat Egypt Lift Cup

AFCON 2021: Teranga Lions Maul Pharaohs as Senegal Beat Egypt Lift Cup

Sadio Mane netted the winning spot-kick as Senegal beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties to clinch their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations, on Sunday, February 6th, 2022

The post match penalties were taken after the final ended goalless following full time and extra time.

Mane,  had earlier seen a seventh-minute penalty saved by Pharaohs keeper Gabaski.

Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy denied Mohanad Lasheen to give Mane the chance to win it in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium.

Gabaski had made three good saves from Senegal’s Bamba Dieng in extra time.

All four of Egypt’s knockout games at the tournament went the distance, and the North Africans had beaten Ivory Coast and hosts Cameroon on spot-kicks en route to the final.

Gabaski had already saved four penalties at the tournament by the time the match went to a shootout, but on this occasion the 33-year-old ended on the losing side.

Egypt were the first to err when centre-back Mohamed Abdelmonem saw his penalty hit the left-hand upright and bounce away – but Gabaski immediately denied Bouna Sarr.

However, Lasheen saw his effort saved and Mane won it with an emphatic finish into the bottom left-hand corner.

That meant his Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah did not even have the chance to take a penalty, with the Pharaohs captain set to go fifth for his side.

Senegal had previously lost two Nations Cup finals, finishing runners-up in 2002 and 2019.

Mane and the rest of the Teranga Lions squad will celebrate their victory, while Egypt will soon have a chance for revenge, with the two sides meeting again next month in a two-legged play-off for a spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Senegal have been Africa’s top-ranked side for the past three years under coach Aliou Cisse, who as a player missed a crucial penalty in the 2002 final defeat and was in the dugout for their loss three years ago.

Mane was instrumental in their landmark success in Cameroon, having scored three goals at the tournament and set up another two.

In contrast, Salah’s influence waned as the contest went and he ended on the losing side for the second time in a Nations Cup final, having been was part of the Egypt side beaten by Cameroon in 2017.

The Pharaohs went out in the last 16 on home soil three years ago but will not have too long to wait for the next tournament, which is due to take place in Ivory Coast in June and July next year.

The Teranga Lions eventually ended their wait to lift the trophy after a protracted presentation which saw captain Kalidou Koulibaly go up to the VIP box in the stands alongside Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe and Fifa president Gianni Infantino to greet Cameroon president Paul Biya.