Senegal made it! The Lions of coach Aliou Cissé won their first Africa Cup of Nations in history last night over Egypt (0-0, 4-2 at penalty kicks) and are thus putting an end to an oddness that is no longer existing today. Since 1957 and the creation of the competition, Senegal had never won a single continental trophy. This belongs to the past now.
Facing up to Egypt of Mohamed Salah and goalkeeper Mohamed Gabaski, who could have been elected best goalkeeper of the tournament due to his never-ending saves in the competition (Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy won this trophy), Senegal of Sadio Mané started perfectly with a penalty in the first minutes of the game…Stopped by Gabaski (thanks to Salah’s words? Both men had a brief talk a few minutes before the penalty). Both teams had several opportunities but goalkeepers did the job, and the overtime period, the fourth one for Egypt in four games of second round, did not enable to point out a winner.
This time, the penalty episode was not in favor of the Pharaohs. Instead, Senegal was better with four shots scored (two for Egypt) and this time, Mané was successful even though Gabaski had chosen the good side. Too fast and powerful.
The Senegalese people could appreciate and feast all night long. In Dakar, in Thies and in the whole country, in Europe and the US as well where the Senegalese diaspora is very present, the same scenes of joy and people dancing and singing, celebrating with their neighbor and thanking God for this first star on the Senegalese jersey.
President Macky Sall was not outdone and declared that today Monday would be a public holiday. The happiness and satisfaction will be huge, but hostilities are not finished yet between Egypt and Senegal, who will meet again in March to grasp a ticket for the World Cup in Qatar in the end of the year!