Football News: The Africa Cup of Nations final was not the most entertaining affair like most finals. Both the teams were not ready to make errors and hence the game turned into a cagey affair.
The final eventually went to penalties after both the teams failed to score in 120 minutes. Edouard Mendy and Sadio Mane eventually emerged as the heroes as Senegal beat Egypt 4-2 in the Penalty shootout.
Edouard Mendy shines in the shootout
The goalkeepers become key to their team’s hope in a penalty shootout. And it was the same in the Africa Cup of Nations finals. Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy was in goal for Senegal and the goalkeeper emerged as the eventual hero.
Edouard Mendy saved the fourth Egyptian penalty by Mohanad Lasheen. The Chelsea goalkeeper also pulled off 3 fantastic saves in the game. Though not on the winning side, Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abougabal also deserved praise for his heroic goalkeeping throughout the match.
Sadio Mane went from Villain to Hero
Senegal won a penalty in the 8th minute, which Sadio Mane stepped up to take. But the winger’s powerful penalty was not the best and the Egyptian goalkeeper Mohamed Abougabal pulled off a heroic save.
Sadio Mane, though, would have the last laugh. The Liverpool winger was Senegal’s fifth penalty taker. Many converted from the spot to bring the AFCON trophy to Senegal.
The referee offers the job to Mohamed Salah
The Egyptian captain Mohamed Salah was protesting the referee’s decision before halftime. Salah was not happy that the referee had booked Hamdi Fathi for a tackle.
What happened next was quite amusing as the referee Victor Gomes looked to offer his job to Salah. The referee was seen giving his whistle and cards to Mohamed Salah, but the winger refused to take it. This eventually ended the heated discussion.
The first AFCON win for Senegal
The victory against Egypt on Sunday was Senegal’s first major championship in their history. Before this, the Lions had played the AFCON finals in 2002 and 2019. But ended up on the losing side.
The win meant something even more special to Senegal’s head coach, Aliou Cisse. The Senegal manager was the guilty party, as he missed the decisive penalty in the 2002 AFCON final shootout against Cameroon.
English Premier League players heavily featured in the game!
Coming into the Africa Cup of Nations 2022 tournament, there was a lot of negativity, especially in England. A lot of people considered the tournament being played at the wrong time, as it was a hindrance to club football.
But quite a few Premier League footballers played in the finals. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Edouard Mendy, and other big names were featured in the game. Hence, this should surely turn the minds of people who think that AFCON is a “little tournament”.