African Cup Of Nations

Winners of AFCON 2022

Winners of AFCON 2022

Rita Faltas, Staff Reporter

The final match of the African Cup of Nations was on Sunday, February 5,2022, at the Paul Biya Stadium, Olembé, in Cameroon. The two final teams were Egypt and Senegal. Everyone was looking forward to the match to see the two best friends, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, play against each other in the biggest game for their home teams.  

The whole match was a roller coaster for both sides. Senegal attacking at every chance they get and Egypt blocking every blow. Egypt, which had won the tournament title 7 times before, and Senegal was not able to break through in the first 90 minutes (about 1 and a half hours) of the game. Senegal had the most control for most of the game before the second half where Egypt gained their strength. 

Egypt was dragging until the end of the game and hoping for penalties. Egypt was dependent on their goal keepers’ skills to block the goal from Senegal.  

Egypt’s goalkeeper, Mohamed Abo Gabal, or Gabaskii, was a significant factor for the team’s success throughout the matches. He was outstanding in keeping Senegal from scoring. 

The game came down to penalties. Sadio Mane scored the winning goal, allowing Senegal to claim their first African Cup of Nations title with a 4-2 penalty score victory over seven-time winning team, Egypt.  

Mane has made history for the west African nation of Senegal and banished the memories of their loss back in 2019 against Algeria. Before Mane went up to take the penalty kick, Salah had warned Gabaskii, the goalkeeper, about where Mane would be shooting his kick and that he will try and confuse him. Just like Salah had predicted Mane walked up to Gabaskii and told him where he was going to kick. Mane powered straight down the middle of the goal, but Gabaskii blocked it.  

The game ended with 4-2 in penalties for Senegal. Salah was in tears at the end of the game, having lost the 2017 final to Cameroon. “Throughout the whole game everyone was on the edge of their seats, not a minute during the game could a I look away. They played their best, even though we lost there is always next year” said Nasim Faltas, local Italian restaurant owner. The next AFCON tournament will be hosted in Ivory Coast, starting June 23rd, 2023.