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Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal vs Egypt: The Road to the Afcon final

6:12 AM GMT+4 06/02/2022
Mohamed Salah of Egypt, Nigeria's Kelechi Iheanacho
How have the two continental giants fared as they’ve made their way to Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations showpiece?

  • Kelechi Iheanacho Nigeria Afcon 2022

    Matchday One

    Zimbabwe came within seconds of holding Senegal in the two sides’ tournament opener, with Sadio Mane stepping up to bag a 97th-minute penalty after Kelvin Madzongwe was penalised for a handball in the box.

    The Teranga Lions headed into the game with only 18 players due to injuries and coronavirus diagnoses, but monopolised the possession in a one-sided encounter.

    Nonetheless, their game lacked precision and a cutting edge amidst humid, energy-sapping conditions.

    For Egypt, things were even tougher, as they were blown away by a rampant Nigeria side, who should have won more convincingly than 1-0.

  • Senegal Guinea Afcon 2022

    Matchday Two

    Yet another turgid performance from Senegal, as they and Guinea ground out a 0-0 victory with the Syli Nationale slightly edging the possession stakes.

    Egypt bounced back from their victory over Nigeria with an unconvincing 1-0 triumph over Guinea-Bissau, who thought they’d nabbed a late equaliser when Mama Balde bagged a goal of the tournament contender after cutting in from the left flank.

    VAR ultimately ruled out the stunning effort, denying the islanders a second point, and getting the North Africans back to winning ways.

  • Amr El Solaya of Egypt during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.

    Matchday Three

    Mohamed Abdelmomen scored the only goal of the game for Egypt as they downed Sudan in a low-key encounter in Yaounde, with the Pharaohs largely faring well with their opponents’ long-ball approach but unable to carve open clear opportunities.

    Senegal were even more effectively neutralised in Bafoussam, playing out an underwhelming 0-0 draw against their lowly opponents.

    At this stage of the tournament, while both Senegal and Egypt were largely looking solid, neither were truly looking like title contenders.

  • Sadio Mane challenged Vozinha, Senegal vs Cape Verde

    Last 16

    Quarter-finalEgypt took their game to new heights when faced with high-flying Ivory Coast, who entered the contest on the back of eliminating reigning champions Algeria in their final group game.

    The Pharaohs at times rode their luck, but created over 20 chances and kept the Elephants at bay before progressing on penalties when Eric Bailly missed his spot kick.

    On paper, Senegal had an easier ride, winning 2-0 against nine-men Cape Verde, although the contest didn’t exactly pan out as expected, with the Teranga Lions only taking the lead through Mane after the Liverpool man had suffered a head injury in a collision with goalkeeper Vozinha.

    Bamba Dieng finally guaranteed progress in the 92nd minute.

  • Omar Abdelwahed of Egypt challenged by Sofiane Boufal of Morocco.

    Quarter-final

    Egypt downed Morocco in the North African derby at Ahidjo, overcoming Sofiane Boufal’s early opener when Salah equalised to take the contest to extra time.

    During the prolongation, the Liverpool man was again influential, sending through the cross from which Trezeguet netted the late winner.

    The match was enveloped by ugly scenes at the final whistle, but that couldn’t mask Egypt’s grit in stymying and neutralising a Morocco team with far more individual talent.

    Senegal again had an easier time of things things, overcoming a nervous 10 minutes at the start of the second-half to run out 3-1 winners over Equatorial Guinea thanks to goals from Famara Diedhiou, Cheikhou Kouyate and late-arrival Ismaila Sarr.

  • Sadio Mane, Senegal vs Burkina Faso 2022

    Semi-final

    Again, Senegal had an easier road here, seeing off Burkina Faso 3-1 at the Stade Ahidjo while Egypt had to—again—go the distance against Cameroon, holding the hosts 0-0 through the 120 minutes before winning it on penalties.

    While the Indomitable Lions didn’t dominate the match as their players subsequently suggested, they did enjoy the better of the contest and had the chances to finish off the fixture.

    Instead, Egypt—who had head coach Carlos Queiroz sent off during the contest—held their nerve, neutralised their opponents, and took the tie on penalties following some horrendous spot kicks from the hosts.

    Not only have Egypt had a day fewer of rest than Senegal, and had to play longer, but the Teranga Lions enjoy the momentum following a riotous second half against the Stallions in which they ran out 3-1 winners.