Thursday, November 30, 2023

Mane vs Salah: Rematch looms with World Cup place at stake

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Sadio Mane trumped Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah in the Africa Cup of Nations final, but the Egyptian will soon have a chance to even the score in a World Cup play-off.
Egypt confront Mane-inspired Senegal home and away in March with a ticket to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at stake.
Ghana meet Nigeria, Cameroon play Algeria, Mali face Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of Congo tackle Morocco in the other play-offs.
But it is the showdown between the Egyptian Pharaohs and the Senegalese Teranga Lions that will capture the imagination with Premier League sharpshooters Salah and Mane dominating the headlines.
Mane not only helped Senegal conquer Africa for the first time after a penalty shootout triumph in Cameroon on Sunday, he was also voted the player of the tournament.
The 29-year-old scored three of the nine Senegalese goals in seven matches and recovered swiftly from being injured in a last-16 win over Cape Verde to inspire his team.
In the final, he had an early penalty saved by Mohamed Abou Gabal, but atoned by slotting the spot-kick that won the shootout after 120 goalless minutes dominated by the west Africans.
After a slow start to the 29-day flagship African tournament, Salah led his team through a far harder knockout-phase path than Senegal to the title decider.
Effectively facing three finals before the final, Egypt pipped the Ivory Coast on penalties, came from behind to beat Morocco in extra time, then overcame Cameroon in another shootout.

Source: AFP

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