Senegal vs Egypt: Mane’s spot-kick sends Africa’s champions to World Cup. Africa’s champions will represent the continent in Qatar after defeating their Nations Cup final opponents 3-1 in penalties
Sadio Mane netted the decisive penalty in the shootout as African champions Senegal defeated Egypt 3-1 on penalties following a 1-0 victory in Dakar—and a 1-1 draw on aggregate—to reach their third World Cup finals.
Just over three weeks after netting the winning spot kick as the Teranga Lions defeated the Pharaohs on penalties in the Africa Cup of Nations final in Yaounde to win their first continental crown, Mane sent Senegal to Qatar, with Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah missing his penalty in the shootout.
Boulaye Dia’s early goal had tied the two sides on aggregate, before Senegal held their nerve in a shootout blighted by lasers being shone by supporters in the faces of Egyptian players, with Salah, Ahmed Sayed Zizo, and Mostafa Mohamed all missing from the spot.
While Mane’s Senegal now advance to their second consecutive finals for the first time, Salah misses out on the global showpiece after inspiring Egypt to qualify for the 2018 edition.
Dia’s fourth-minute goal ensured the two sides were level early in the bout—after Egypt had won the first leg in Cairo 1-0 on Friday—as the forward finished from close range as the Pharaohs failed to clear their lines from an Idrissa Gueye freekick.
The early setback destabilized an Egyptian team who had clearly come to West Africa with the game plan to keep their opponents at arm’s length for the duration of the contest.
Clearly rattled, and with temperamental head coach Carlos Queiroz antagonizing officials and supporters alike from the touchline, the contest threatened to boil over at several points during the first half, with Senegal’s Aliou Cisse also having to be restrained by officials as he sought to remonstrate with his opposite number.
A tangle between EGY7 and Saliou Ciss—whose own goal separated the two sides in the first leg—prompted a melee soon after the goal, while Gueye also made the Algerian official clear of his displeasure when he was fouled by EGY18 before forceful words were exchanged with Mohamed Elneny.
Contributing to Egypt’s angst was the hostile atmosphere generated by the home supporters, with visiting players and officials being targeted by green lasers, and goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy being pelted with plastic bottles at several points during the contest.
The stadium announcer took to the tannoy to implore the home supporters not to throw objects onto the pitch—and at the visiting supporters—but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
Steadily, the Pharaohs’ body language improved after falling behind, although their defense—already shorn of Ahmed Hegazy, Mohamed Abdelmonem, and Mahmoud Hamdy El-Wensh through injury and suspension—was further weakened by injuries to Ramy Rabia and Omar Gaber, both of whom were replaced within the opening 36 minutes.
Nampalys Mendy had the best chance of the rest of the first half, sending El Shenawy scampering to cover with an effort from range in the 41st minute, while Kalidou Koulibaly’s stout defending neutralized Egypt when they did advance towards Edouard Mendy’s goal.
The Pharaohs’ best chance of the game came in the sixth minute of the second half, as Mendy denied Trezeguet from a tight angle after some fine interplay between Salah and Amr El-Solia, although Zizo almost silenced the home supporters 20 minutes later when he met a Salah cross but couldn’t direct his header on target.
Zizo was denied by Mendy soon afterward as Egypt sought to press forward more ambitiously than they had during the first half, although Ismaila Sarr fluffed the best opportunity to win the game—and send Senegal to the World Cup—when he sidefooted wide after being played in one on one with El Shenawy nine minutes from time.
El Shenawy was the hero of extra time—making two fine saves in particular to deny Pape Abou Cisse—but Senegal was unable to find a breakthrough despite enjoying the lion’s share of the chances.
So to penalties, where both captains—Koulibaly and Salah—missed their opening kicks, before Ciss was denied by El-Shenawy and Zizo fired wide.
Sarr and Bamba Dieng then scored for Senegal—either side of El-Solia’s converted effort—but Mohamed’s effort was saved by Mendy before Mane ensured that Africa’s champions will represent the continent in Qatar.