What You should know about the AFCON 2021 Champions: The Teranga Lions of SenegalRuth Torty 7th February 2022 0 COMMENTS
Senegal wins the AFCON 2021 Champions. The final match between Egypt and Senegal almost ended in a stalemate as both teams remained goalless. After 30 minutes of extra time, the match entered into a penalty shootout. The Senegalese team made history at the Olembe stadium in Cameroon when they lifted the trophy.
Dive into the article to read amazing facts about the Senegalese team. The Senegalese national team made history in more than one way. In this article we bring you five facts about the Senegalese team, winner of the AFCON 2021.
1. Two “Almosts” before A Win
In 2002, Senegal came close to lifting the AFCON trophy. The match ended in a 3-2 penalty draw in favour of Cameroon. Consequently, Senegal was second place. 2019 was another finals where Senegal also lost the trophy to Algeria with a 1-0 defeat. At last in 2022, Senegal earned their place.
2. Meet Aliou Cisse, a man of persistence.
Aliou Cisse is one of the few indigenous coaches in the tournament. In the 2002 AFCON finals, he was the captain of the Senegalese national team. Aliou missed the penalty that resulted into Senegal’s loss. The man did not give up. 17 years later at the 2019 finals, as the national coach, he watched his team lose to Algeria. Now, 20 years, after the penalty shootout, an emotional Alisse watched his team win the trophy.
3. The History Makers At AFCON 2021
The Senegalese team earned their place in the history books. This is the first time Senegal is lifting the AFCON trophy. Aliou also becomes the first manager to win the trophy. Edouard Mendy is the first Senegalese goalkeeper to win the UEFA Champions league, the Best FIFA Goalkeeper of the year and the best goalkeeper at TotalEnergiesAFCON 2021 tournament. Sadio Mane also received the player of the tournament award.
4. Humble Beginnings
Sadio Mane, one of the instrumental member of the Senegalese team had a humble beginning. At age 15, he made the near 500-mile journey north to Dakar to join tryouts for teams. Sadio, who was wearing torn clothes and boots was determined to give his best.
An older man who had spoken to Sadio beforehand was surprised after seeing his performance on the pitch. “When I got on the pitch, you could see the surprise on his face. He came to me and said, ‘I am picking you straight away. You’ll play in my team.’ After those trials, I went to the academy.” Sadio said in his interview with Goal.com.
Edouard Mendy has also had his fair share of struggles but the story of the Senegalese team reminds us of the power of persistence.
Furthermore, Vincent Aboubakar emerged as the Golden boot winner. The Cameroon national scored 8 goals, the highest number of goals in the tournament. The host of the TotalEnergies AFCON competition, Cameroon placed third in the competition—beating Burkina Faso in a penalty shootout. Egyptian goalkeeper, Mohamed Abou Gabal, who is popularly known as Gabaski won the man of the match at the finals. His saves pivoted Egypt and saw them through to the finals.
Ruth Torty is a biochemist, and freelance science writer. She writes to shed light on health issues, rare diseases and science research in Nigeria. She is also a creative writer and has published on different literary sites including Spillwords and Nnoko Stories. She is passionate about genomics and its role in healthcare.