Tuesday, February 27, 2024
HomeAfrica Cup Of NationsChampions Senegal Knocked Out Of AFCON

Champions Senegal Knocked Out Of AFCON

Defending champions Senegal were knocked out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after losing 5-4 on penalties to hosts Ivory Coast.

The two African giants Ivory Coast and Senegal faced each other for a place in the quarter-finals. The defending champions started the match with an early goal inside four minutes after Sadio Mane showed his class and produced a lovely cross for Habib Diallo making it 1-0.

The tempo of the match was growing in each and every minute, Mane was booked after a horror tackle, which could’ve seen him sent off, inside nine minutes, while the hosts continued to push Senegal but failed to penetrate.

With three minutes before half-time, Ivorian Seko Fofana gave Senegal lots of problems as he carried the ball into the box and took a shot, but Edouard Mendy was equal to the task and a corner was awarded.

The second half started with Ivory Coast looking to get an equalizer, half a chance was created Oumar Diakite by playing a cross inside the box but never got any Ivorian player.

Later on Senegal had penalty appeal when Ismaila Sarr was brought down in the box but referee waved play on.

In the 70th minute, Mane had a chance to put the game to bed but his shot went inches away from the goals.

In the 76th minute Ivory Coast had a glorious chance, Nicholas Pepe did everything right but Mendy refused to be beaten.

Just five minutes later, Sebastain Haller played a lovely pass to Nicholas Papa and he was brought down by Mendy, resulting in big appeals for a penalty but the referee initially booked Pepe for simulation.

However, after consulting VAR the on-field decision was reversed and penalty was awarded. Franck Kessie stepped up and converted to make it 1-1 in the 84th minute.

Both sides looked tired, as the game went into extra-time. Senegal created half a chance after 10 minutes in the extra-time but Mane failed to convert.

The last 15 minutes of extra-time kicked off, Ivory Coast pushed to get the winning goal but Mendy was equal to the task with seven minutes to play.

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Some good passes from Ivory Coast, Kessie starting all the move Pepe at the end of it but it doesn’t trouble Mendy, three minutes before penalty shootout.

After 120 minutes of football, penalties had to decide the clash as the quarter-final spot went to the hosts, who converted all five spot-kicks, while Niakhate missed for the defending champions.

Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco
Sinethemba Makonco is one of South Africa's brightest up-and-coming football journalists. Makonco shot to prominence on social media as a reliable source for South African football news and transfer stories, and is currently working as a junior journalist at iDiski Times.