Senegal narrowly beat Tunisia 1-0 to reach AFCON final

Senegal narrowly beat Tunisia 1-0 to reach AFCON final

Agency News

Cairo, Jul 15 : Liverpool star Sadio Mane's Senegal edged Tunisia 1-0 in a dramatic 120-minute Africa Cup of Nations semi-final that saw two missed penalties, a canceled one and an own goal.

In the 100th minute, after a goalless draw in regular time, the 27-year-old Mane whipped in a free kick from the right wing here on Sunday evening. Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen came off his line to deal with it but he flapped it and nudged it onto his defender Dylan Bronn's head into the empty net.

The own goal sent the 2004 AFCON champions Tunisia back home and kept Senegal hopeful for their first AFCON title ever.

Senegal demonstrated a stronger performance in the first 45 minutes but Tunisia were better in the second half until the match was forced into the extra time.
The second half saw two missed penalties within eight minutes. The first was for Tunisia in the 72nd minute as Senegal defender Kaildou Koulabily blocked Ferjani Sassi's shot in the box with his arm. Sassi stepped up to take it but Senegal keeper Alfred Gomis brilliantly grabbed.

Gomis was named Man of the Match, as announced by the Federation of African Football (CAF), the AFCON organizing body.

"The Senegalese people should be proud of their national team. We are just one match away from achieving the dream and winning our first continental title in the history of Senegal," Gomis told reporters following the match.

He noted that saving the Tunisia penalty was very important as it was a turning point to maintain Senegal chances in the game.

The second penalty was for Senegal in the 81st minute. Newcastle midfielder Henri Saivet stepped up and sent it to the left side of the spot but Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen guessed it right and clawed it away.

In the 114th minute, Senegal defender Salif Sane headed a cross off his teammate Idrissa Gueye's arm and the referee gave a penalty, but he overturned it a few minutes later after VAR consultation. It looked like an accidental handball.

By this win, the Lions of Teranga are set to play the 2019 AFCON final on Friday with the winners of tonight's second semifinal match between three-time champions Nigeria and the 1990 title holders Algeria.(XINHUA)