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Mo Salah in tears after Sadio Mane scores winning penalty for Senegal in AFCON final | Football | Sport

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Mohamed Salah was reduced to tears after Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane struck the winning penalty for Senegal to win his country their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations, two-and-a-half years after tasting defeat in the 2019 final to Algeria. There was a sweet moment of redemption for Mane in particular, who missed from 12-yards after just seven minutes when he was denied by Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal – also known as Gabaski – but this time around he would make no mistake as he fired the ball beyond the reach of his opposite number.

Senegal were undeniably the better side on the night and the fatigue in the legs of the Pharaohs – having previously played 120 minutes against Ivory Coast and Cameroon – was telling.

Aliou Cisse’s side failed to make their extra sharpness count though despite a number of big chances in extra-time and Egypt were expected to hold an advantage during the spot-kicks having already prevailed on penalties on two separate occasions during the knockout stages.

Yet former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz’s men would fall short this time after Mohamed Abdelmonem and Mohanad Lasheen fluffed their lines, before Mane smashed the ball home to etch Senegal’s name onto the trophy.

There was a touch of class from the Liverpool man though amid the celebrations, as he took the time to console his distraught club team-mate Salah.

READ MORE: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah handed shot at redemption after painful AFCON final defeat

The spot-kick would prove to be the only clear-cut chance of the game despite both keepers being called into action.

Salah forced Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy into a brilliant near-post save after he cut inside and drove the ball towards the top corner.

Egypt were doing their best to break up the play and disrupt Senegal’s attacks but Aliou Cisse’s side were playing the better football and looked the most likely side to break the deadlock.

There was nothing between the two teams come the end of the 90 minutes as we headed into extra-time.

Once again, it was Senegal asking serious questions as substitute Bamba Dieng forced Gabaski into two fine saves.

The goalkeeper was down smartly to his left after the Marseille forward was played in behind before he denied Dieng from a header moments later.

Mane could have been shown a second yellow card for simulation when he went down easily in the first half of extra-time. The referee gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Once again, with 114 minutes on the clock, Gabaski was equal to Dieng’s low, swerving drive at goal.

Egypt then had a chance to win the game themselves when Ahmed Hamdi Hussein Hafez stung the palms of Mendy and the Senegal goalkeeper failed to punch the resulting corner clear.

Penalties would then decide where the trophy would be heading and The Pharaohs had already experienced spot-kicks on two occasions this tournament having previously beaten Ivory Coast and Cameroon en route to the final…

Senegal centre-backs Kalidou Koulibaly and Abdou Diallo scored their spot-kicks but Egypt’s Abdelmonem would miss the first penalty of the shootout – hitting the post – after team-mate Ahmed Sayed scored.

Cult-hero Gabaski would continue his heroics, saving Bayern Munich’s Bouna Sarr’s effort from 12-yards.

Hamdi and Dieng would then score before Egypt’s Lasheen missed to hand Mane the chance to win AFCON for his country and this time around, he would make no mistake…

MORE AFCON REACTION: Liverpool star Mohamed Salah handed shot at redemption after painful AFCON final defeat





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