AFCON 2021: Mohamed Salah to face Sadio Mane in final as Egypt take on Senegal

Club teammates Mo Salah and Sadio Mane face each other in the final.

Senegal got past Burkina Faso to make it their second-consecutive final at AFCON. Burkina Faso, the underdogs, endured a nervy first half as they conceded two penalty decisions that got overturned following VAR intervention. However, they lost their goalkeeper to injury during the first incident.

Senegal increased the pressure and got the lead when Abdou Diallo broke the deadlock in the 70th minute. Under constant pressure, Burkina Faso conceded another goal as Sadio Mane won the ball back before slipping it towards Idrissa Gueye.

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Burkina Faso bounced back quickly as they pulled one back through Blati Touré’s improvised finish. In need of a late equaliser, Burkina Faso was left exposed at the back as Sadio Mane pounced upon the opportunity and chipped the ball over, onrushing Farid Ourdraogo to seal the victory.

Despite producing numerous talents over the years, Senegal is yet to win an AFCON title. 

Sadio Mane and co. will face Mohamed Salah in the final as Senegal will face Egypt on Sunday.

Hosts Cameroon dominated the first half and came close to breaking the deadlock when Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui hit the post, but neither side could take their chances. After the break, Egypt took control of the tie and created more chances. Salah had a glorious opportunity when he was put through on goal but was denied by onrushing André Onana. Both teams came close to scoring the opener, but neither side could find the net at the end of 120 minutes.

Egypt went into their second penalty shootout of the knockout stages, having also beaten the Ivory Coast earlier, but this time without manager Carlos Queiroz, who got sent off after receiving two quick yellow cards.

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The Pharaohs scored all three of their penalties. But Cameroon saw two of their efforts saved by Mohamed Abou Gabal before Clinton N’Jie sent the fourth wide as the hosts crashed out of the tournament in front of their home fans.

The AFCON final will be one to watch as Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane go head-to-head in an epic showdown.

Senegal will be hoping to get third time lucky after their last defeat in the 2019 final against Riyad Mahrez’s Algeria. Senegal has been better and more convincing in the knockout stages at both ends of the pitch, scoring eight goals and conceding twice. 

While, Egypt has needed extra time in all three knockout games so far, including two penalty shootouts. However, Egypt has the upper hand when it comes to the AFCON as the seven-time champions are into their fifth final of the last six editions. Mo Salah and co. will be aiming for yet another victory but will have to do it without their manager Carlos Queiroz following his suspension. 

Senegal will be looking to make up for the loss against Algeria with a win against the strongest team in AFCON history. We predict Sadio Mane getting the better of Salah to lift Senegal’s first-ever AFCON title.

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