Egypt chase Afcon immortality

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Egypt will chase the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) immortality when they face Senegal in the final at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde tomorrow evening.

Kick-off is at 9pm CAT.

Egypt overcame Cameroon in the second semifinal played on Thursday night, with a hard-fought match ending goalless after 120 minutes, before the North Africans triumphed 3-1 on penalties.

This has given the Pharaohs the chance to claim a record-extending eighth Afcon title and further underline that the North African nation is indeed the greatest football power on the African continent.

Egypt coach Carlos Queiroz stated: “Words like fear have been erased from our dictionary. In our football dictionary, there is the word respect. We have great respect for our opponents and their players, because they are performing well and scoring goals. But we are ready.”

Senegal, meanwhile, powered past Burkina Faso in the first semifinal on Wednesday night: goals from Abdou Diallo, Idrissa Gueye and Sadio Mane saw off the challenge of the Stallions and put the Teranga Lions into a second successive Afcon final and third
overall.

Coach Aliou Cisse was involved in the previous two (as a player in 2002 and coach in 2019) and will be determined to see the West African nation shrug off their status as one of the best teams never to win the Afcon.

“We know it will be a very difficult final,” Cisse said. “I congratulate my players because we have come a long way. They had the right mentality. I can assure you that the best quality of a player in the national team is having the right mentality.”

He added: “What matters to us is winning the Afcon… We will face a great African team and we will be ready.”

In head-to-head stats, Senegal and Egypt have met in 12 matches across all competitions dating back as far as 1986. The Pharaohs have claimed six wins compared to four for the Teranga Lions, while two games have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meetings were in the qualifiers for the 2015 Afcon, with Senegal winning 2-0 in Dakar in September 2014 and 1-0 in Cairo in November 2014 — Mame Biram Diouf (two) and Sadio Mane shared the three goals for the West Africans. Supersport