Senegal champion of Africa | The Journal of Montreal

The “Lions” of Senegal finally reign over Africa, they won their very first CAN against Egypt (0-0 aet, 4 pens to 2) after a very closed final, where Sadio Mané transformed the decisive shot on goal.

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Senegal champion of Africa

Senegal has been waiting for it for so long! After two unsuccessful attempts in 2002 and 2019, the players of the “Teranga”, the welcome, in Wolof, finally had their nerves, after 330 minutes of finals in total without scoring a single goal.

Sadio Mané missed a penalty early in the game, but not his shot on goal, after the failures of Mohamed Abdelmonem and Mohamed Ahmed, and that of Bouna Sarr. Senegal takes revenge for the session lost against Cameroon 20 years earlier (0-0, 3 tab to 2).

Mané won his duel in the match with Mohamed Salah, his Liverpool teammate, who lost his second final after that of 2017 (2-1 against Cameroon), and could not even draw his “peno”, he who was placed in fifth position.

This victory bears the seal of Aliou Cissé, “local” coach who had cried on the ground the two previous failures.

As a player, he had missed the last shot on goal in the 2002 final against Cameroon. Coach, he had experienced the frustration of a goal gag at the very start of the match against Algeria that his team never recovered (1-0).

Senegal champion of Africa

Egypt weary

This first triumph is of course also that of Mané, even if he did not manage a very great match, seeming to bear the penalty for his badly taken penalty.

“Ballonbuwa”, the “ball wizard”, remains the hero of this final with Édouard Mendy, who stopped a shot (Abdelmonem hit the post), and captain Kalidou Koulibaly, suspended for the 2019 final, who transformed him the first, and muzzled Salah.

The three stars put an end to 57 years of misfortune. Since their first registration in 1965, also the year of their first qualification (Senegal finished 4th), the Teranga Lions were chasing this title.

Egypt, arriving exhausted by three extensions and one less day of recovery, did not win an eighth CAN.

The “Pharaohs” defended in a snatch all the match, folding without breaking under the Senegalese domination.

The 2019 final had started badly for Senegal, with a gag goal from Algeria in the second minute. This time the Lions missed a penalty, by Sadio Mané, stopped by Gabaski (7th), for a foul by Mohamed Abdelmonem on Saliou Ciss.

Senegal champion of Africa

Still Gabaski

Egypt’s number two goalkeeper, who has started since the injury of Mohamed El Shenawy, is definitely shining in the exercise, he had already made the decision in the two penalty shootouts won by his team.

The victory is deserved for the Senegalese, winners on points. They dominated the match and got a few chances, but they weren’t sharp enough, like these crosses from Ismaïla Sarr in front of the line (19th, 23rd), and Gabaski took it all out.

The Marseillais Bamba Dieng found three times on his way in extra time the gloves of the Zamalek goalkeeper (92nd, 100th, 115th).

Tired, isolated, Salah has not often deceived the vigilance of his defenders. When he succeeded and aimed for the skylight, Édouard Mendy parried (42nd)

Egypt however had a hold-up ball, a strike from Ahmed Mostafa “Zizo” boxed by Mendy under his crossbar (117th).

But the revenge will come very quickly: Senegal and Egypt meet in March for the poster of the African dams of the World Cup. The Mané-Salah African duel has only just begun.

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