Senegal were crowned champions of Africa for the first time after Sadio Mane scored the winning penalty – after missing in normal time.
The game ended goalless after extra time, but the Teranga Lions finally won their first title in their third appearance in the final courtesy of a penalty shootout.
Sadio Mane was the hero as he scored the winning penalty to give Senegal a 4-2 shootout win against Egypt in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde on Sunday evening.
For Liverpool teammate Mo Salah and Egypt, it was a second straight final defeat.
It was the end of a month-long championship in Cameroon that saw 24 teams compete for the biggest title in African football. The tournament taking place in the middle of the European club football season caused a lot of uproar as hundreds of players departed from their clubs to represent their countries.
But Sunday’s final brought together the continent’s biggest stars in Mane and Mohamed Salah alongside their supporting cast to fight for the title.
Senegal started the game the stronger side as they earned an early penalty after Saliou Ciss was brought down in the box by Mohamed Abdelmoneim.
But Mane lost the opportunity to put Senegal ahead early as his penalty kick was saved by revelation of the tournament, Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal, who produced a man of the match performance.
Senegal kept creating chances that went begging for a foot to tap the ball into the net. Winger Ismaila Sarr sent two crosses across the face of the Egyptian goal but both times Mane could not apply the coup de grace as Egyptian coach Carlos Quieroz watched from the stands after his semifinal suspension.
It was almost half an hour into the game before Egypt got their first sight of goal when Salah weaved his way inside the Senegal box but his shot was safely scooped up by Edouard Mendy. Salah once again forced a decent save out of Mendy two minutes before half time.