Senegal is champion of Africa! At the end of an intense match, Senegal has taken the upper hand over Egypt (0-0, 4-2 tab), this Sunday, during the 33rd final of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Lions of Teranga succeed Algeria in the competition’s record. Senegal (finally) on the roof of Africa! – Debriefing and players’ NOTES (Senegal 0-0 (4-2 tab) Egypt) Mané is the African champion! The third is the good one! Beaten in the final in 2002 and 2019, Senegal was crowned African champion for the first time in its history by beating Egypt (0-0, 4-2 tab), this Sunday, during the 33rd final of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Lions of Teranga dominated the game but were denied by an exceptional Gabaski. They made the difference in the penalty shootout to add their first line to the list of winners. The band of Sadio Mané thus succeeds Algeria, its tormentor of two and a half years ago. Mané misses a penalty As in 2019, the final started strong. As in 2019, it started badly for Senegal as Mané saw his penalty kick pushed away by the incredible Gabaski. Despite this blow, the Lions of Teranga continued their domination with two dangerous crosses from Ismaila Sarr that Mané could not take. On the other side, Salah was rather well contained even if the Egyptian captain offered himself a small festival between four players concluded by a shot too soft to worry Mendy. As the minutes went by, the pitch deteriorated considerably, which did not facilitate the circulation of the ball. At the same time, the Pharaohs, who were generally not very forward, used their experience to gradually put their opponents to sleep with more or less rough fouls. Before the break, however, Salah was not far from cooling Senegal down with a heavy shot at the near post that was beautifully deflected by Mendy. Egypt held on After the break, Senegal stepped up the pace. But every time the ball was left in the box, Gabaski threw himself like a starving man to reassure his defenders. Gradually, tension built up in Yaoundé as both teams struggled to avoid a potentially fatal goal. Despite playing three overtimes in ten days, the Egyptians displayed incredible mental strength to hold off the Senegalese. In the last quarter of an hour, the Pharaohs even reversed the trend in a short period of time by going close to the goal on a header of Marwan. A hot alert for the partners of Mendy, much more cautious but still not very creative and precise on the offensive phases. To make matters worse, the fatigue was clearly felt while the lawn, in a pitiful state, prevented the players from having good support. Gabaski, close to the end of the game During the extra time, Gabaski was once again the show, taking two huge chances from Dieng and then pushing away a heavy shot from Marseille with a nice save. Mendy was not to be outdone as he was also decisive on a powerful shot from Marwan. In the penalty shootout, it was finally Senegal who took the upper hand after Abdelmonem and Lasheen failed to score. A first title in the history of Senegalese soccer, finally! The note of the game : 6/10 We saw the game we could expect, that is to say tight and tense. And yet, Senegal could have made it easier for themselves if not for Mané’s missed penalty… Tension, opportunities, contacts, an electric atmosphere, this CAN final was like all the finals of the event since 2000.
The NOTES of the players Maxifoot gave a note (out of 10) commented to each player. Man of the match : Mohamed Abou Gamal (9/10) Gabaski is a cyborg, a monster, whatever you want, but he is not human. With one or two penalties to spare, the Egyptian goalkeeper could have become the nightmare of an entire country after shattering the Cameroon dream. The Zamalek goalkeeper made eight saves and saved a shot on goal, four times out of five from the right side. An absolutely phenomenal game for the Pharaohs’ substitute keeper. SENEGAL: Edouard Mendy (8): The best goalkeeper in the world in 2021 was imperial in the first half, turning away both of Salah’s attempts, including a superb save before the break. During the extra time, he was decisive on a tense shot from Marwan before saving Lasheen’s shot on goal. A big game, one more, for him. Bouna Sarr (5.5): although he was solid overall, the Bayern right-back was not visible enough offensively. He lacked the panache to hurt Fatouh for a long time. He was the only Senegalese to miss his shot on goal. Kalidou Koulibaly (8): what a monster… Absent from the final in 2019, the central defender of Napoli splashed the game with his class with very clean interventions and daring relays always accurate. Apart from ten minutes less good in the second half with a yellow card, he was excellent. A great captain. Abdou Diallo (7) : not much used overall, the PSG central defender was cautioned in the second half for a big hit on Salah. Behind, he lost a dangerous duel with Marwan, who was very close to scoring with his head. However, he made an excellent extension by winning all his duels with the Liverpool winger. Saliou Ciss (6.5): in great form at this CAN, the Nancy left-back won a penalty from the start with a huge raid. Behind, he was very active, for fear of leaving space for Salah. He contained the Liverpool winger rather well. Idrissa Gueye (6) : the PSG midfielder was rather interesting in his ability to bring the block up. However, he can be criticized for a lack of audacity that he often shows with his selection. Nevertheless, he blocked the spaces well during 120 minutes. Nampalys Mendy (6) : the player who came from Nice did the job by spreading out in the middle. Despite an eye injury, he held on until the end to channel the Egyptian ascents. Cheikhou Kouyate (6.5): the Crystal Palace midfielder had an impact and especially got some hot balls out in the second half. A rather interesting final for the former Anderlecht player, who saw his shot go close to the post shortly before the break. Replaced in the 66th minute by Pape Gueye (5), who was rather average in his use of the ball. Ismaïla Sarr (6) : for his only start in the competition, the Watford winger was rather active. He sent two very dangerous crosses to Mané, who was too short each time. A satisfactory performance overall. Replaced in the 77th minute by Boulaye Dia (not noted), who was not very visible. Famara Diedhiou (4): Although he was a constant threat to the Egyptian defense, the Alanyaspor striker failed to make an impact. He lacked opportunism to exploit the balls that were lying around in the box. Replaced in the 77th minute by Bamba Dieng (not noted), who was the most dangerous player in this match with three huge chances, all of which were saved by Gabaski. Sadio Mané (6) : the Liverpool winger’s final started very badly by missing a penalty. Despite this big blow, the Liverpool winger provoked a lot and got many fouls. Very solid mentally, he scored the winning penalty, as a symbol. EGYPT: Mohamed Abou Gabal (9): see comment above. Emam Ashour (8): The right-back was sensational against Mané in his first international start. Despite his inexperience, he looked the Liverpool winger straight in the eyes to offer a performance of great quality. A magnificent match for him. Mahmoud Hamdy (7.5): a very good game for the Zamalek center-back, who was often inspired in his interventions to keep the danger away from Diedhiou. He threw himself like a starving man to preserve his goal for 120 minutes. Mohamed Abdelmonem (7): The Future FC central defender had a very bad start to his game, conceding a penalty to Ciss. In spite of this handicap, he did a good job to push back the opponents’ assaults. A good game despite the first five minutes complicated. Ahmed Aboul Fetouh (5): a very complicated match for the young player of Zamalek.
The left-back often drank the cup on the sharp overflows of Ismaïla Sarr, who did not leave him any respite. Largely below his defensive partners. Mohamed Elneny (7): A quality match for the Arsenal midfielder. If the Pharaohs stayed in the game for so long, it’s also because the Gunner showed experience and calmness to not be overrun. His exits from the ball were clean. Amr El Solia (6): although he has been criticized in recent months, the defensive midfielder showed a serious face tonight. He was able to place himself between the midfielders and the Senegalese forwards to limit the axial combinations. Replaced in the 58th minute by Mahmoud Hassan (4), whose entry did not change much for the Pharaohs. Hamdy Fathi (5): The Egyptian midfielder spent almost 100 minutes on the field, which is a real miracle. And for good reason, he probably should have been red-carded for his entire work, marked by countless mistakes. He did, however, do a great job in the defensive backfield to block the Senegalese axis. Replaced in the 99th minute by Mohamed Lasheen (unrated), who missed the fourth Egyptian shot on goal. Mohamed Salah (4): The Liverpool winger missed his final. Apart from a big chance before the break, we did not see him tonight. The fault of a too defensive tactic that clearly did not help him. He had to face two or even three players to try to make the difference. Impossible for him to do better, as talented as he is. Mostafa Mohamed (4) : closely followed by Koulibaly and Diallo, the Galatasaray striker did what he could by not giving up in the duels. However, he did not manage to turn around to try to put Mendy in danger. A frustrating match for him. Replaced in the 58th minute by Hamdy Marwan (6), who was dangerous on his debut with two good opportunities. Omar Marmoush (4): the nugget of Egyptian soccer was little seen in this final. He gave a lot in the defensive fold but in front, the player of Stuttgart did not weigh at all. Replaced in the 58th minute by Ahmed Sayed (5), who was serious in his defensive withdrawal to manage Mané. We did not see him in front.