Senegal are the winners of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations after emerging victorious from a dramatic penalty shootout in the final against Egypt.
Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who had earlier missed a spot kick in normal time, stepped up to take winning penalty to give Senegal a first-ever victory in the tournament.
Sadio Mane, who had missed a penalty early in normal time, scored the decisive spot-kick as Senegal triumphed 4-2 in the shootout after 120 minutes of football failed to produce a goal.
Sadio Mane scored the decisive penalty in a nail-biting shootout as Senegal overcame Egypt to be crowned this year’s Africa Cup of Nations champions.
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The Liverpool attacker had a spot-kick saved by Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski in only the seventh minute in Yaounde, Cameroon, but recovered to help Senegal win the trophy for the first time in their history.
Aliou Cisse’s men, who beat Burkina Faso in Wednesday’s semi-final, were deserving victors after dominating possession and chances at the Olembe Stadium.
Cameroon, this year’s hosts, sealed third place 24 hours earlier after coming from three goals down to beat Burkina Faso on penalties.
Egypt got off to a nightmare start as Mohamed Abdelmonem brought Saliou Ciss down with a clumsy challenge inside the box in only the fourth minute, but the impressive Gabaski saved Mane’s resulting penalty to keep it all square.
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Senegal, the pre-tournament favourites, continued to dominate possession in the early stages and Egypt had to wait until the 28th minute for their first real opportunity of the contest.
Mohamed Salah, quiet until that moment, made the chance out of nothing as he wriggled past several Senegal defenders to get off a shot on target, but his tame strike was comfortably saved by Edouard Mendy.
The Lions of Teranga had Mendy to thank once again in the 43rd minute, with the Chelsea goalkeeper alert to deny a powerful strike from Salah with an excellent stop at his near post.
Gabaski was at the heart of the action again shortly into the second half as he first denied Idrissa Gueye before preventing both Famara Diedhiou and Mane from breaking the deadlock in quick succession.
The Pharaohs had a golden opportunity to open the scoring against the run of play in the 69th minute, but Mostafa Mohamed’s inviting free-kick was glanced over the crossbar by an unmarked Mohamed Abdelmonem.
Egypt came close again through Marwan Hamdi just moments later, with Senegal’s players beginning to tire, and Mendy stood motionless as the forward’s header trickled past his left upright.
Bamba Dieng almost put Senegal in front from a tight angle just moments into extra time, but the seemingly impenetrable Gabaski was again on hand to keep the scoreline goalless.
Gabaski produced two further moments of magic as he launched himself to his left to deny Dieng’s goal-bound header in the 102nd minute before getting behind a late thunderbolt from the attacker at the death.
The last notable moment of extra time came at the other end of the pitch as Mendy helped a stinging effort from from Hamdi over the crossbar to safety.
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