• Senegal win 4-2 on penalties.

‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja

Daily Courier – Sadio Mane scored the winning spot-kick – after missing one in the opening minutes of the game – as Senegal claimed their first Africa Cup of Nations title with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over seven-time winners Egypt.

Mane stepped up to make history for the West African nation on Sunday at the Olembe Stadium in Cameroon’s Yaounde, and banished the memories of the team’s 2019 failure when they lost the final to Algeria.

Both sides had chances, but they couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes of football and Mane might have been wondering whether his early penalty miss was going to prove costly.

Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy saved from Mohanad Lasheen in the shoot-out to allow Mane the chance to seal the win and gain just reward for Senegal, who had been by far the better side in the final but spurned numerous opportunities to win the game.

Cisse gets his redemption too…
There may be some poetic justice for Senegal coach Aliou Cisse, who was captain of the side in 2002 when they lost the final on penalties to Cameroon after a goalless draw, having missed his kick in the shootout.

Meanwhile, Salah, who was consoled by his Liverpool team-mate Mane, missed out on the chance of leading Egypt to an eighth AFCON title after penalty heartbreak.The Liverpool star was left in tears at the end, having also lost the 2017 final to Cameroon.

Senegal went on to dominate the early stages of the game and Ismaila Sarr twice went close to picking out Mane with low crosses, but the Liverpool forward was just caught on his heels on both occasions.

At the other end, Senegal were doing a good job of limiting Salah’s influence, but the Liverpool forward eventually got into the game. A trademark jinking run resulted in a low shot which was easily saved by Edouard Mendy, but just before the break, the Chelsea goalkeeper had to be alert to keep out a Salah shot which was heading for the top corner.

The pattern of the game continued into the second half as Senegal continued to look the more likely of the two sides as both Famara Diedhiou and Mane were denied by Gabaski in quick succession.

However, Egypt, who had to do without suspended coach Carlos Queiroz in the dug-out, eventually grew into the game and Marwan Hamdi flashed a header wide, spurning a glorious opportunity to snatch victory.

As the game grew to a close, chances became few and far between as both sides became nervy. But in the first period of extra-time Gabaski was required by Egypt once again as he palmed Bamba Dieng’s powerful drive wide.

Penalty kicks were eventually required and Abdelmonem struck the post before Gabaski kept out Bouna Sarr’s effort.

Mendy then denied Lasheen to allow Mane the chance to seal the win and create history for Senegal.