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AFCON 2021: Intrigues, drama on the road to a Senegal vs Egypt final

Senegal vs Egypt. Sadio Mane vs Mohamed Salah. By no means gained vs seven-time champions.

Select your most well-liked storyline.

However the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which was truly performed in 2022 due to COVID-19, ends this Sunday.

It has been a match stuffed with drama, officiating blunders, tense shoot-outs and upsets.

Nigeria, who swept by means of the group phases with straight wins in opposition to Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau and had been topped early favorites, couldn’t defeat Tunisia who barely scraped into the spherical of 16.

How can we overlook that Ghana completed backside of a gaggle that had debutants Comoros, Morocco and Gabon?

Or Janny Sikazwe, the referee who blew for full-time early within the conflict between Tunisia and Mali and has claimed God requested him cease the sport.

As at Saturday evening, the drama was nonetheless unfolding. Burkina Faso blew a 3-Zero lead in opposition to hosts Cameroon, who fought again to attract 3-Three earlier than the 90th minute.

The Indomitable Lions finally gained 5-Three on penalties to clinch bronze.

The large prize can be handed out immediately.

Senegal are right here once more within the remaining for the second consecutive match. They noticed off Burkina Faso simply of their semi-final conflict.

It wasn’t a easy trip for Egypt. They endured 120 minutes of goalless soccer, earlier than the goalkeeper saved twice within the penalty shootout in opposition to Cameroon.

So then, the Liverpool Derby. Salah will lead Egypt out, whereas Mane carries the burden of successful the Teranga Lions’ first continental trophy squarely on his shoulders.

In head-to-head stats, each international locations have performed one another in 12 matches throughout all competitions courting again so far as 1986. The Pharaohs have claimed six wins in comparison with 4 for the Teranga Lions, whereas two video games have been drawn.

If there’s any justice on this planet, Coach Aliou Cisse, the pinnacle coach of Senegal, can be a cheerful man on the finish of the evening.

Cisse has misplaced two AFCON finals (as a participant in 2002 and coach in 2019).

That is his large likelihood at redemption. His workforce have performed some spectacular soccer, battling it out after they wanted to. Additionally, you count on fatigue to hamper the Egyptians. Salah and co have performed 360 minutes of soccer in three knockout video games.

No matter occurs, this AFCON closes with a conflict of two heavyweights. And we may very well be savoring the icing on the cake.

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