Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties to lift the continental cup for the first time in history after both sides couldn’t be separated over 120 minutes of goalless football.
Sadio Mane put an early penalty miss behind him to score the winning spot kick as Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made a fourth-round save to hand Senegal the advantage.
Meanwhile, Salah, who was consoled by his Liverpool team-mate Mane, missed out on the chance of leading Egypt to an eighth AFCON title after penalty heartbreak.The Liverpool star was left in tears at the end, having also lost the 2017 final to Cameroon.
The final burst into life in the fourth minute when Saliou Ciss was brought down inside the Egypt penalty area by Mohamed Abdelmonem. There was no hesitation from referee Victor Gomes, who pointed to the spot to hand Senegal an early chance of the lead.
What followed seemed like an age as Ciss received treatment after the challenge, but it was time used to good effect by Salah and his goalkeeper Gabaski. Both players were seen talking to Mane, while Salah was spotted giving advice to his goalkeeper regarding his Liverpool team-mate’s penalty. Whatever was said worked as Gabaski pushed Mane’s powerful spot kick away to safety to keep the game goalless.
As the game grew to a close, chances became few and far between as both sides became nervy. Penalty kicks were eventually required and Abdelmonem struck the post before Gabaski kept out Bouna Sarr’s effort.
Mendy then denied Lasheen to allow Mane the chance to seal the win and create history for Senegal.
The triumph marked Senegal’s first AFCON crown.
“We’re African champions,” Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse said after the match. “It’s been long, it’s been hard, and there have been complicated moments, but we never gave up.
“This was a hard match too; we missed the penalty, and there were other chances we weren’t able to take, but the boys never abandoned the task.
“This proves the mental strength of this generation.”