It was redemption for Sadio Mane as his penalty kick lifted Senegal to their first Africa Cup of Nations title on Sunday against Egypt.
Senegal won the penalty shootout, 4-2, after the sides failed to score for 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time. It was Mane’s early penalty miss in the first half that put Senegal in a position where they needed a penalty shootout, but it was Mane’s confident take to finish things that secured their AFCON championship.
Mane was also named AFCON player of the tournament after scoring three goals and assisting two more.
In a preview of an upcoming clash between these two sides as only one will qualify for the World Cup, Senegal dominated from kickoff but were unable to make it count due to excellent play in net by Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed Abougabal. Finishing with eight saves, he had another strong showing.
Only six minutes in, Senegal thought they had an opener via Mane as Mohamed Abdelmonem fouled Saliou Ciss in the box but Mane missed his penalty. Senegal continued to boss the match, creating chances from everywhere but they couldn’t find the finishing touch.
It wasn’t a huge worry as Idrissa Gueye was breaking up Egypt attacks all over the park. A triple change from Egypt in the 58th minute would change the flow of things but didn’t bring enough of a cutting edge to beat Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy.
Senegal’s keys in attack were Saliou Ciss, Ismaila Sarr, and Ahmadou Bamba Dieng. All three were able to create a number of chances in the match and on a day when they weren’t up against Abougabal, multiple goals may have gone by Egypt.
Damage control was just good enough for Carlos Quieroz’s men but trying to win a third penalty shootout pushed Egypt’s luck just too far.
Abdelmonem’s day to forget continued as he missed his penalty, hitting the post and putting Egypt behind. Abougabal momentarily came to the rescue, saving Bouna Sarr’s take before Mendy pulled out an excellent save on Mohanad Lasheen’s. That set the stage for Mane to seal the title.
Cameroon, the hosts, settled for a third position after post-match penalty victory over Burkina Faso.
In regulation time, they came from 3-0 down to restore parity with substitute Aboubakar scoring a brace.
Mane has been named player of the tournament while his goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has claimed the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Source: CBS SPORTS