Senegal were crowned champions of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday after defeating Egypt on penalties. The Lions of Teranga finally won the tournament after losing several finals on different occasions including in 2019 when they lost to Algeria. The match ended goalless in both normal time and after the extra 30 minutes before Senegal edged it 4-2 on penalties.
Sadio Mane Impact
Liverpool star Sadio Mane was the hero once again after crowning his impressive form in the tournament with scoring the decisive penalty which handed Senegal the trophy. Mane had to rely on his luck after missing a penalty in open play before going on to convert the final kick of the game. He was voted as the player of the tournament alongside his teammate Edouard Mendy who was voted as the goal keeper of the tournament. Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar won the tournamnet’s golden boot with 8 goals.
Aliou Cisse vindicated
Senegal coach Aliou Cisse would feel vindicated after winning the title finally following failure on several occasions. He was captain of Senegal in 2002 when they lost the final to Cameroon after missing his penalty in the shootout. He also failed to win the tournament again in 2019 as a coach when lost the final to Algeria.
Salah’s search for national glory continues
As Sadio Mane was celebrating, his Liverpool teammate Mohammad Salah was in tears. This was Salah’s second time losing the final and failing to deliver the trophy for Egypt after also losing the 2017 final to Cameroon. However, he will have a chance to avenge his loss against Senegal when the two sides meet again next month in the play-off to fight for a spot in the World Cup.
Hosts Cameroon finish third
Cameroon, the hosts of the tournament could only manage to finish third after beating Burkina Faso 5-3 on penalties. They launched a dramatic comeback to draw 3-3 after trailing 3-0 before the 70th minute. The impressive Burkina Faso had to finally settle for fourth after that late breakdown which saw them lose a 3-goal lead.
Ivory Coast to host Afcon 2023
Ivory Coast were handed the flag to host the next tournament in 2023 during the closing ceremony in Cameroon. The Elephants saw their impressive start in the tournament end agonisingly after losing against Egypt on penalties in the Quarter Final.