After a grueling marathon of a final, Egypt just misses out on breaking their own record and winning their eighth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title. Senegal snagged their win through a close penalty shootout where both Egypt’s second goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal and Senegal’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made astute saves.
Egypt and Senegal’s skill and control of the game were roughly equal, with each team dominating in different parts of the match. Throughout the 120 minutes of play, Egypt’s second goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal made multiple spectacular saves, and the Egyptian team cooperated to create a number of dangerous chances.
The penalty that determined the winner of this year’s AFCON was shot by Liverpool forward and teammate of Mohamed Salah’s, Sadio Mane. This is Senegal’s first title in the tournament – though they have been showing promise, ending the 2019 edition as runners up behind Algeria, and with a formidable team of footballers playing in top tier clubs such as Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, AC Milan, and more.
Egyptian fans across the world expressed heartbreak over the last-minute loss, as the team’s performance suggested a possibility of victory until the very last moments of the match, and as this is Egypt’s first loss by penalties since 1984. But the general sentiment across Egypt is one of pride in the team’s performance and hope that the spirit shown by the players and the rekindled love between them and the fans can result in Egypt finding its place in the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year – on the road to which they are scheduled to meet Senegal two more times.