It took 90 minutes, two overtimes and a penalty shootout for Senegal to win its first ever Africa Cup of Nations soccer trophy on Sunday at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.
The Lions of Teranga have thus beautifully crowned an Afcon trajectory that was not without challenges.
The game started off with a bang, with an early Senegalese foray in the third minute. An Egyptian defender was fouled in the box and the referee called for a penalty.
Sadio Mané’s powerful shot was blocked by Zamalek goalkeeper Mohamed Gabaski. Zero goals all around.
Little changed in the second half, despite multiple scoring opportunities for Senegal and a few for Egypt. During the first period of extra time, the game is just as tepid, with a few opportunities here and there, mainly on the side of Senegal. The same was true in the second period of extra time.
During the penalty shootout, Egypt missed two shots, while Senegal missed one. In the end, it was Sadio Mané who scored the last shot on goal to give the Lions their first continental trophy.
Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar, the tournament’s top scorer, was awarded the Golden Boot.
The distinction of best goalkeeper went to Edouard Mendy of Senegal, member of the English club Chelsea.
The next Afcon should take place in Côte d’Ivoire, in 2023.