Sadio Mane netted the game-winning penalty in a shootout to take Senegal to the 2022 World Cup after Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah missed his spot-kick for Egypt.
In a rematch of the Africa Cup of Nations final, Senegal were ecstatic after the final whistle after prevailing on penalties, leaving Egypt’s players distraught and Salah – one of the best players in the world – considering his absence from the tournament in Qatar in November.
The game went to a tense and dramatic shootout after the second leg of the play-off competition in Senegal’s new 50,000-seater stadium ended 1-0 to the hosts and 1-1 on aggregate after extra time.
After goalie Edouard Mendy had given Senegal an advantage by save from Mostafa Mohamed at 2-1, Mane scored the deciding penalty to win the Nations Cup.
Salah, Egypt’s captain, was one of four players to miss the first four penalties of a penalty shootout that featured a swarm of green laser pointers aimed at the visitors’ players and goalkeeper.
Boulaye Dia of Senegal scored the game’s sole goal in normal time, scoring after only four minutes with a shot that impacted Pharaohs defender Hamdi Fathi’s body.
Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco, and Cameroon all qualified for the World Cup play-offs in Africa, but Nigeria, Mali, DR Congo, and Algeria were all eliminated.
A significant advantage
Senegal has won a major prize for the second time in six weeks after defeating Egypt on penalties.
Cameroon hosted the Nations Cup final in February. Two Egyptian misses meant that Salah, the team’s top scorer, did not even get a chance to take a shot.
They made sure he went first this time, with the goal of gaining a critical early advantage after Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly hit the post with the opening attempt of the shootout.
Salah, on the other hand, could not do much better. Indeed, he performed worse, his strike soaring past the bar and nowhere near Mendy’s goal.
Neither Ciss nor Zizo were able to score, and it appeared that the barrage of laser pointers aimed at players on both sides – which had grown in intensity as the game progressed – were having an impact.
Ismaila Sarr did finally find the net, but Amr El Soleya matched her. Bamba Dieng then scored a confident goal for the Teranga Lions, but when Egypt’s Mostafa tried to respond, Mendy stopped superbly to put Senegal in possession.
Sadio Mane took full advantage of the circumstances, slamming his effort down the middle and igniting celebrations.
Given the score, it was not a clear conclusion that the game would be decided on penalties.
Dia’s deflected strike was eerily similar to the one that had given Egypt the lead in the first leg in Cairo – and it came in the same minute.
Egypt had failed to defend a potentially damaging free-kick. Dia pounced on a headed clearing to shoot, but Fathi challenged at the same time, and the ball slid under Mohammed El Shenawy, the opposing goalkeeper.
The roof nearly came off Senegal’s brand new stadium, which, unlike other large African stadiums, lacks a running track and thus creates a more intense atmosphere.
Egypt provided little during the match, sticking to a strategy of maintaining a tight defensive line and disrupting any Senegal attacks with contested challenges.
However, the hosts had two wonderful chances to seal the victory, both of which were missed by Sarr, before penalties settled the game.
Watch Salah PK Here
On 82 minutes, he was placed through on goal, but El Shenawy made himself big to ensure Sarr’s strike drifted wide.
Then, in extra time, when offered with the majority of the goal to aim for from a Sadio Mane cross, the Watford man failed to connect correctly and his effort looped into El Shenawy’s body.
Egypt was buoyed by Zizo’s two mazy runs, but they appeared to be playing for penalties and finally paid the price.
One response to “Heroic Sadio Mane helps Senegal overcome Egypt and qualified for Qatar after a penalty shootout”
[…] Liverpool winger Sadio Mane has matched Cristiano Ronaldo’s record in the UEFA Champions League after scoring a goal in the tournament on Tuesday, April 6, 2022. […]