Senegal beat Algeria 5-4 in spot kicks to win the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) for the first time in their histroy, dethroning Morocco who were a no show at this year’s edition.
Algeria midfielder Ahmed Kendouci rattled the crossbar that shut down his side’s only hope and conveyed Senegal a hard-fought victory after a barren 90 and Extra time minutes.
Tournament top scorer Aymen Mahious was the other player to miss a penalty on the Algerian team as Senegal’s Captain Omar Ndiaye hit the bar from the spot as well, to send the Algerian fans in the Nelson Mandela Stadium into a temporary revelry.
Pape Mamadou Sy (best goal Keeper of the tournament) produced a wonderful save in the second half of extra-time to keep his side unbroken as the clock counted down four minutes into the penalty kicks.
The final was the first match in the Seventh edition of the CHAN tournament to end in goalless draw after 90 minutes and push the final results past Extra time to spot kicks.
Full back El Hadji Balde took the first for the Lions of Teranga and scored despite Algerian Keeper Alexis Kendouz flying the right direction but inches late from the ball.
In Extra time, Zineddine Belaid with a perfect header from a cross from the left sent the full capacity Stadium to the edges of their seats before his efforts were comfortably slowed down by goalkeeper Sy.
Mahious, who was heavily marked and silenced throughout the game fired wide to make it one of the few shots on goal for his team in a very tight encounter on Saturday night.
Despite a goalless 90 minutes of action both sides had a fair share of attempts on each other’s final third but lacked clinical touch to break the deadlock.
With close to 12 minutes to end the second half, Algeria narrowly missed the target as Senegal defender nearly put the ball into his net while under pressure from Mahious.
Senegal relied more on the counter attacks in the second half than the build ups as Pape Diallo was the man to keep the Algerian backline on their toes but on his first chance on goal fired straight into the hands of goalkeeper Guendoz.
The first 30 minutes saw Senegal dominate the middle of the fray, appearing the better prepared side of the night but later cut back on the aggressive attacks after caution bookings on Mamadou Sane and Cheikh Sidibe.
The night couldn’t get any better than Senegal becoming the first country to win the CHAN trophy, the Africa Cup Of Nations and the Africa Beach Soccer Championship trophies, all in a space of one year.
CHAN is designed exclusively for home-based players playing their domestic leagues on the continent.
With Senegal winning this edition, Africa now has a new champion for the CHAN as all the previous champions could not make it to the final.
2009 🏆: DR Congo, 2011 🏆:Tunisia, 2014 🏆: Libya, 2016 🏆: DR Congo, 2018 🏆: Morocco, 2020 🏆: Morocco