Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to win Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to win Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal has beaten Egypt on penalties to win the African Cup of Nations for the first time in their history.

Going into 120 goalless minutes, the final ended in a penalty shootout, in which Sadio Mane redeemed himself for missing a penalty kick earlier in the match by scoring the decisive spot-kick in Cameroon.

Mane’s Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah did not take a penalty in the shoot-out, and Mohanad Lasheen’s miss ensured that Egypt did not get a chance to take their fifth penalty.

In a match that was billed as a showdown between Salah and Mane, it was the latter who had the big chance to produce the decisive moment in normal time when Senegal was awarded a penalty after five minutes.

Mohamed Abdelmonem’s onrushing foul left the referee with no choice but to award the penalty, but Mane saw his penalty saved by Gabaski as he tried to shoot down the middle.

By contrast, Salah was silent for much of the evening, although he did show glimpses of his quality to pull off a pair of saves from Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy in the first half.

Goal-scoring opportunities were relatively slim for the Pharaohs throughout the 90 minutes, but they began to grow further into the game in the second half before entering familiar extra-time territory.

Egypt had gone the distance in each of their previous three knockout games, and that proved to be the case again.

There were chances for both sides to win in extra time, with Bamba Dieng being thwarted on three separate occasions by Gabaski and Mendy pulling off a fine save to deny Zizo a dramatic late victory.

However, neither were able to break the deadlock as Egypt entered their third shootout of the tournament, although this time they fell short.

Missed penalties by Abdelmonem and Lasheen, either side of Senegal’s Bouna Sarr, who had his shot saved from the penalty spot, gave Mane the opportunity to write his name in the history books.

Rather than drop back down the middle, Mane slotted his penalty into the bottom corner to give Senegal their first-ever African Cup of Nations title.

The last seven editions of the tournament have now been won by seven different nations, with Egypt failing to lift the trophy for the eighth time, extending the record.

The two countries will soon resume hostilities in a World Cup qualifying doubleheader in March.

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