Senegal has won their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations.
They made victory after Sadio Mané scored the decisive penalty in the shootout victory against Egypt in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The game remained goalless after 120 minutes of play before Sadio Mane scored the winning spot-kick, with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah not taking a penalty.
Senegal joins Morocco, South Africa, Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia as countries that have won their first African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in the history of the Africa tournament.
Senegal’s joy came after a poor final, which was the seventh in the last 11 editions of the competition to be decided in a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw.
Indeed, Egypt had already won finals that were decided on penalties after a 0-0 draw, and they had done so again in the previous fortnight, against the Ivory Coast in the last 16 and the hosts in the semi-finals.
AFCON 2021 Closing Ceremony
Senegal’s 88-year-old President, Paul Biya, and his wife, First Lady Chantal Biya, attended the closing ceremony when they were paraded in an open-top automobile to frantic audiences.
Although the largest cheers were reserved for Cameroon great Samuel Eto’o, now the head of the country’s football federation, when his face appeared on the big screens, FIFA president Gianni Infantino and CAF boss Patrice Motsepe were also in attendance.
Eto’o, a four-time African player of the year and two-time AFCON champion, is one of Africa’s all-time great footballers, but this final featured Africa’s current superstar duo in Salah and Mane.
AFCON 2021 Finals
Senegal, desperate to avenge their loss to Algeria in 2019 final, had a fantastic opportunity to grab the lead when excellent left-back Saliou Ciss was chopped down in the area by Abdelmonem.
Sadio Mane took the kick, but it was too close to the goal’s midsection, and Abou Gabal was able to save it.
With a jinking move in from the right and a shot easily stopped by Mendy, Salah took nearly half an hour to make an impact, and the Chelsea goalkeeper then produced an outstanding save to tip a Salah effort over just before halftime.
AFCON 2021 Winner Prize
Senegal has won eye-watering $5 million as prize cash emerging as winners of the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations which was hosted in Cameroon.
The amount is slightly higher than what Algeria banked when they won the tournament in 2019 in Egypt.
Algeria, who were eliminated in the group stages of the 2021 AFCON took home $4.5 million at the time.