Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to book a spot in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in a repeat of the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal had also beaten Egypt on penalties to win Africa’s most prized football tournament.
The game itself was marred by ill-discipline and trouble both on and off the field as the crowd used laser pointers on Egypt’s players before they were set to take their spot-kicks.
The action on the field was non-stop with both sides missing golden opportunities to seal a win for their team. In an uncanny occurrence, Senegal took the lead at home in a similar fashion to Egypt in their previous meeting through an own-goal.
Hamdi Fathi diverted the ball into his own net after 4 minutes to square the tie at 1-1. The hosts were by far the better side in the first half in front of a raucous home crowd, but they could not find another goal and settled for a 1-0 advantage at the break.
Egypt had two glorious opportunities to win through substitute Zizo after he came on in the 70th minute, but the attacker missed both chances as the match crept towards extra time.
It was then Ismaila Sarr’s turn to miss chances for Senegal as his curling shot missed wide of the far post after he found himself free on goal with only the Egypt keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy to beat before having another shocker early in extra time, with his close-range shot from a Sadio Mane cross going right at El-Shenawy with the goal wide open.
Senegal continued their dominance throughout extra time but had nothing to show for it as the game went to a shootout just like the AFCON final.
Salah, who never got the chance to take a spot-kick in the AFCON final missed his kick as the first four penalties were wasted before Sarr put Senegal ahead. Bamba Dieng made it 2-1 before Edouard Mendy saved from Mostafa Mohamed.
Salah’s Liverpool teammate Mane once again hit the decisive spot-kick to ensure Senegal beat Egypt 3-1 in the shootout and book a spot at the World Cup for the third time in the country’s history.