AFCON 2021: Senegal targets maiden title as they face Egypt in epic showdown

Senegal faces Egypt on Sunday at Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé as Senegal targets maiden title.

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.

Losing twice in the two final matches they played in 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.

“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,” Senegal national team head coach Aliou Cisse said.

“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,” he added.

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.

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