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FOOTBALL: Mane Fires Senegal To AFCON Glory After Penalty Drama

Sadio Mane put an early penalty miss behind him to score the winning spot kick as Sengal won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time ever following a 4-2 penalty shootout victory.

Mane blew an early chance to fire Senegal into the lead when his seventh minute penalty was saved by Gabaski, who had taken some advice from Mane’s Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah before the spot kick.

Both sides had chances, but they couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes of football and Mane might have been wondering whether his early penalty miss was going to prove costly.

However, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was the hero for Senegal, saving substitute Mohanad Lasheen’s penalty before Mane’s redemption was complete.

The Liverpool forward powered the ball past Gabaski and into the bottom corner to spark wild Senegal celebrations as they sealed AFCON glory at the third time of asking after missing out in 2002 and 2019.

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.

Manager Aliou Cisse dedicated the win to the Senegalese population, who have finally seen their national side lift the continent’s biggest trophy 57 years after their first AFCON appearance.

AFCON 2021 awards…

Player of tournament: Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Top scorer: Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)

Best goalkeeper: Edouard Mendy (Senegal)

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