Senegal Has Won the AFCON for the First Time Ever

Senegal won after their left winger, Sadio Mane, scored the winning goal in a 4-2 penalty shootout.

Yesterday, Senegal’s ‘Teranga Lions’ beat Egypt’s ‘The Pharaohs’ to emerge as the winner of the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) football tournament. This year, AFCON took place at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon.

Senegal won after their left winger, Sadio Mane, scored the winning goal in a 4-2 penalty shootout. Their goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, also stopped Egypt’s central midfielder, Mohanad Lasheen, from scoring a goal in the shootout, thereby securing Senegal’s win.

The match had exceeded extra time with no goal from either of the two teams before Senegal won. According to The Sun, the Egyptian team was a favourite for many viewers. The Pharaohs had won 7 AFCON editions and they had star players like Mohammed Salah and Mohamed Aboutrika.

Senegal’s victory went viral on social media, as many congratulated Senegal on their win, especially Sadio Mane, who was also named the Best Player of the Tournament.  A Twitter user, Thierry Nyann, described Mane as ‘an African champion’. To celebrate a historic win for Senegal, Senegal’s president, Macky Sall, declared today (Monday 07 February, 2022), a public holiday.

This is Senegal’s first ever win in all 16 AFCON tournaments they have participated in since 1957. In 1957, Senegal finished fourth place. In 2019, they were the first runner-up, having lost to Algeria in the finals with a score sheet of 0-1.

Until this year, many had overlooked Senegal in favour of other successful West African football giants like Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana. Nigeria has won the tournament three times, Ivory Coast two times and Ghana four times. Following a successful FIFA World Cup debut in 2002, in which the country reached the quarter-finals, Senegal officially established itself as a major football rival in Africa

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