A remarkable match in Senegal saw what essentially was a replay of the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Much as in that game, a penalty shootout was needed to separate the two sides, with Senegal once again victorious from 12 yards.
An own goal from Saliou Ciss, four minutes in, was enough for Egypt to win the first leg, and he was once again involved four minutes into this game. He won a free kick on the left which was lifted into the area. A disastrous defensive header saw the ball find Senegal’s Boulaye Dia, center of the goal, who poked it into the back of the net.
From then on, the game was a cagey, scrappy affair. Fouls and injuries broke up much of the game, with Egyptian players regularly needing treatment. The visitors were forced into two substitutions in the first half. Rare moments of quality lit up the game, but it quickly fell into a rhythm of Senegal trying to attack and Egypt looking to counter. This continued for much of normal time.
Senegal racked up the shot count, but failed to create great chances, while Zizo (Ahmed Sayed) came off the bench for Egypt and had two chances to score, but failed to convert either of them. Mohamed Salah had a quiet game while Sadio Mane, regularly dropping deeper from a No. 10 position, was more influential as the game wore on.
Egypt were kept in the game by Mohammed El Shenawy, who made numerous saves to keep the hosts out in the first half of extra time, with the standout being a dive across his line to prevent a certain goal from Ismaila Sarr. The second half of extra time had less tempo, as players suffered from cramps and the Egyptians looked happy to settle for penalties, despite the result last time.
So, after being inseparable over 210 minutes of football, they were separated from 12 yards. In a remarkable turn of events, the first four penalties were all failures: Koulibaly hit the bar, before Salah blazed his attempt over. Ciss’s penalty was saved, before Zizo’s penalty rolled wide of the upright. Ismaila Sarr finally managed to find the back of the net, with El Shenawy diving the wrong way. El Solia levelled with an exceptional finish, off the bar.
Senegal had the advantage, with Mostafa Mohamed’s penalty saved by Mendy, after Bamba Dieng converted. It Sadio Mane scored, Senegal would win the shootout. He did just that, smashing the ball into the back of the net. Flares were lit in the stands as the fans rushed the pitch, celebrating with the players, who will be traveling to Qatar in November. For the Egyptian side, who offered very little throughout the game, it was a replay of the heartbreak they suffered just over a month ago.- The Sporting News