ALGIERS – Senegal defeated hosts Algeria 5-4 in penalty shootouts that followed a goalless after extra time – to win the 2022 edition the African Nations Championship –Chan.
Uganda beat Senegal 1-0 at the same competition but the win wasn’t good enough to propel The Cranes into the quarters – following a 1-3 loss to Cote d’Ivoire later – which result relegated them to a third place finish from group B on four points with an inferior goal difference.
The victory for Senegal on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela – 40,784-capacity Stadium in Baraki, marked Senegal’s first-ever Chan trophy – just a year after winning the Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon title.
Despite the disappointment of losing on home soil – fans of the Desert Foxes, who thronged the southern suburbs of Algiers in big numbers, cheered on their players for making it to the competition’s final for the first time.
Both sides launched the hostilities from the kick-off. But Senegal was more dangerous, getting the best chances. The host also showed splashes of attacking intent on their part. A tense but barren first half separated the scores after the first 45 minutes.
On resumption – both teams came back to the game with no goals. It was not until the 61st minute that the first shot on target of the match was taken. And it was the work of Senegalese Pape Diallo. He intercepted the ball at the halfway line. He went alone on the counter and tried his luck from 20 meters. But it was easily caught by the Algerian keeper, Guendouz. Pushed by an agile public, Algeria pushes to kill the game. It was without success.
Algeria and Senegal failed to break through each other’s defence – as the game ended 0-0.
Algeria dominated extra time but the Senegalese goalkeeper Pape Sy turned out a sole saviour on the day denying strikers a chance.
Meanwhile, Jean-Yves Razafindrakoto scored on the stroke of 90th minute to give Madagascar a 1-0 win over Niger on Friday – taking third place.
Niger goalkeeper Mahamadou Djibo failed to hold a shot from substitute Tendry Randrianarijaona and the match-winner pushed the loose ball into the net.
The dramatic victory in the bronze-medals match by the first-time qualifiers was deserved as they dominated the second half before an 18000 crowd in the western city of Oran.