AFCON 2021: Senegal finally Champion!
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Senegal finally wins its first edition of the African Cup of Nations after two lost finals. In 2002, the Lions of Teranga lost on penalties to the Indomitable Lions and in 2019 in Egypt, they were beaten by the Fennecs of Algeria. It was not until the 33rd edition on Cameroonian soil that the Senegalese finally lifted their first trophy.
For Aliou Cisse, the Senegalese coach, ”Cameroon is a land of football. Winning the CAN here in Cameroon by beating the most successful team in Africa is also a symbol.”
From now on, Senegal’s jersey will be emblazoned with a gold star. Sadio Mané and his teammates have just done better than their illustrious predecessors. Led by a former member of the 2002 African Cup of Nations team that lost to Mali, Aliou Cissé was determined to offer his country as a coach what he had never been able to offer as a player. Aliou Cissé wins the first star with the Senegalese national team.
The Egyptian trap…
After qualifying in extremis for the Round of 16, the seven-time African champions set up a system that allowed them to undergo the match and play on the counter to lead their opponents slowly but surely to penalties. Côte d’Ivoire was beaten, Morocco was beaten after 120 minutes, Cameroon succumbed and only Senegal was left.
It takes a thief to catch a thief…
Aliou Cissé prepared his colts well. After a game dominated by Senegal but without any goal, the Senegalese coach was armed for the penalty shootout. He brought in his best shooters for the eventuality. Four successful shots for Senegal against two for Egypt. Egypt got screwed in their own game.
As in 2017, Mohamed Salah will miss out on the trophy without lifting it. Sadio Mané, who missed the penalty caused by Abdelmenem after a foul on Saliou Ciss in the 5th minute of play, will be the last Senegalese shooter. This time, he succeeded in shooting and realized his dream. He finishes as the best player of the CAN 2021 ahead of his Liverpool teammate.