You are currently viewing THE FINAL – Senegal v Egypt: First title or record extension?

THE FINAL – Senegal v Egypt: First title or record extension?

Report by CAF

Final: Senegal v Egypt
Date: 6 February 2022
Time: 20:00 local time (19:00 GMT)
Venue: Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé

Senegal faces Egypt this Sunday at Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé, as the 33rd edition of TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 reaches its Grand Final.

While Senegal was expected at this stage of the competition as one of the favorites for winning their first ever title and last edition runner-up, Egypt defied offs that did not nominate them to go far and managed a formidable campaign to play for a record extension eighth AFCON title.

Senegal coach Aliou Cissé talks to his players

Senegal – Third time lucky

Losing twice in the two final matches they played (2002 and 2019), Senegal are hoping for a “third time lucky” this time round.

The Teranga Lions had less complicated tests given the opponents’ road to the final.

After beating Zimbabwe 1-0 and two goalless draws with Guinea and Malawi to top their Group, Sadio Mané’s teammates defeated Cape Verde 2-0, Equatorial Guinea 3-1 then Burkina Faso by the same score in the knockouts.

Once again they will rely on the vast experience of Liverpool superstar Sadio Mane, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly among others.

Senegal coach Aliou Cissé and captain Kalidou Koulibaly

What they said

Aliou Cissé (Coach, Senegal)

“We prepared well for our final with the players who are determined and confident to put in a good show. We will approach this final with determination against a great Egyptian team.”

“We know our opponent well; they have their own philosophy of play with experienced players on the continental level. We are on the way to our objective of winning the title this Sunday evening.”

“We must focus on the final, play it well and thus succeed in our match. We will have to take advantage of the moment. We lost two finals in the past, but this time we will approach the match with more determination”.

Khalidou Coulibaly (Captain, Senegal)

“After missing the final in 2019, I will be there tomorrow to write the history of Senegalese football. The most important thing for me is to offer Senegal and the Senegalese people the trophy.”

“We must realize our dream, that of to win the final crowning. We are keen to play well, to perform well to win this final. It will certainly be the most important match of my career and I will play it with all the determination and ardor necessary to win the tournament”.

Egypt players during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Egypt Training

Egypt – Twelve years of wait

The Egyptians, seven times winner of the competition (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010) are hoping of an eighth star on their jersey, twelve years from their last glory.

After a loss in their opener to Nigeria, Egypt defeated Guinea Bissau and Sudan to go through the group stage. Since then, The Pharaohs managed to oust three big names needing three extra times and two penalty shootouts.

Neither Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, nor hosts Cameroon managed to stop the Pharaohs in their quest to reach the grand final, five years after their heartbreak in Gabon 2017 final.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah led by example in every game, and he will be looked to again to have his moment of lifting the title.

Missing injured Mohamed Elshenawy, goalkeeper Mohamed Abu Gabal who produced shootout heroics against Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon will be once again the first line of the Pharaohs title quest.

Mohamed Salah during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Egypt Press Conference

What they said

Wael Gomaa (Team Manager, Egypt)

“It’s true that we are tired after several matches played in extra time and the various trips since the start of the tournament, but the players will outdo themselves in the final to win the title.”

“The main thing for us is to win the trophy and offer it to all the Egyptian people who have been supporting us for several months. I would like to thank the medical staff who are doing a titanic job in order to prepare all the players after each match”.

Mohamed Salah (Captain, Egypt)

“After a lost final in 2017 against Cameroon, we will play our all-out tomorrow against Senegal to grab an eighth star. We are determined to seek the crown.”

“The players are physically and mentally ready. We are here to play the title and that means a lot to us. We want to offer a title to all Egyptian citizens.”

Match Facts – Senegal v Egypt

●      This will be the fifth encounter between Egypt and Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations and the first such meeting since 2006, with Egypt winning 2-1 in the semi-final on their way to lifting the trophy that year.

●      In their four previous meetings at the Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt and Senegal have won two games each, with three of the four matches finishing 1-0 (Egypt’s win in 2000 and Senegal’s in 1986 and 2002).

●      Egypt will play in their ninth final (excluding final groups) at the Africa Cup of Nations, losing their most recent one in 2017 (2-1 against Cameroon) – including the 2021 final, no team have played in the tournament showpiece on more occasions than the Pharaohs (Ghana level on nine).

●      Senegal are playing in their third Africa Cup of Nations final (runners-up in 2002 and 2019), while the Lions of Teranga are the first side to play in consecutive finals in the competition since opponents Egypt in 2010.

●      Senegal are looking to win their first Africa Cup of Nations title, in their 16th appearance in the competition – no team have played in more AFCON tournaments without ever lifting the trophy.

●      Egypt have progressed via extra time (and/or penalties) in their last three matches at the Africa Cup of Nations, only one team have played in four consecutive knock-out matches, with all going to extra time in the competition’s history – Tunisia between 2006 and 2015 (lost all four in quarter-finals, three in extra time and one on penalties).

●      Senegal have won 11 Africa Cup of Nations matches across the last three tournaments (since 2017), more victories than any other team, while they’ve also kept the most clean sheets (12) in this time.

●      Senegal have scored nine goals from 81 attempts at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – only Cameroon (12.1%, 11/91) have a better shot conversion rate than the Lions of Teranga at this year’s tournament. Meanwhile, Egypt’s rate of just 5.3% (4/76) is the lowest among teams to progress to the knock-out rounds.

●      Since Mohamed Salah’s debut at the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2017 he’s been directly involved in 68 shots at goal for Egypt (41 shots, 27 chances created), only Tunisia’s Wahbi Khazri (70 – 40 shots, 30 chances created) has been involved in more in this time.

●      Sadio Mané has been directly involved in nine (six goals, three assists) of Senegal’s last 14 goals at the Africa Cup of Nations (64%), having either scored (2) or assisted (2) in each of his last three matches. The forward could register goal involvements in four consecutive games in the competition for the first time.

Leave a Reply