One of the most exciting African championships came to an exhilarating end on Sunday, with the Teranga Lions entering the history books as they secured their first-ever triumph
Former Nigerian internationals Sunday Oliseh and Augustine Eguavoen have offered their reactions after Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties to lift the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
After 52 games played, 100 goals scored, and 22 teams sent home, the final of Cameroon 2021 pitted seven-time champions Egypt against 2019 runners-up Senegal.
But it was the Teranga Lions who emerged the competition’s newest champions, winning on penalties after full-time scores stood at 0-0.
After missing a penalty in the first half, Sadio Mane dispatched the winning kick that handed Senegal a much-deserved victory over Mohamed Salah and Egypt.
At the end of four weeks of beautiful football, Mane was named the best player of the tournament. Chelsea’s shot-stopper Édouard Mendy claimed the golden gloves while Cameroon’s Vincent Aboubakar’s eight goals earned him the top scorer award.
1994 Afcon-winning midfielder Oliseh was left impressed with the quality of football on display in Cameroon.
And the former Juventus midfielder took to his Twitter account to express his excitement at the Afcon, Sadio Mane and the ‘superb’ Lions.
“Sadio Mané leads “superb” Senegal to win arguably, the most qualitative AFCON in the past 20 years in terms of Tactics, passion, and surprises.
African football has come of age !! I am excited…”
Sadio Mané leads "Superb" Senegal to win Arguably, the most qualitative AFCON in the past 20 years in terms of Tactics, passion, and surprises.— Sunday Oliseh (@SundayOOliseh) February 6, 2022
African football has come of age !! I am excited… pic.twitter.com/9kouu8AGMU
Eguavoen was also a member of the Eagles team that lifted the Nations Cup 28 years ago.
The former Gent defender, who led Super Eagles as interim head coach to Afcon 2021, has also congratulated the Teranga Lions.
Congratulations, @FootballSenegal— Austin Eguavoen (@coacheguavoen) February 6, 2022
Senegal went unbeaten en route to Sunday’s final, with Aliou Cisse’s men finishing top of a Group B that included Guinea, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
They overcame Cape Verde 2-0 in the Round of 16 courtesy of strikes from Mane and Bamba Dieng before silencing Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in the quarter-final.
Senegal saw off Burkina Faso’s Stallions 3-1 to set up the final meeting with Egypt, where they triumphed 4-2 in a thrilling shootout.