The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations comes to an end in grand style as Senegal and Egypt go head to head for the ultimate prize at Olembe’s Paul Biya Stadium on Sunday, February 6 2022.
Beaten twice in their previous appearance in the final, the Teranga Lions will look to clinch their first-ever title against an Egypt side who will be seeking to conquer the continent for a record-extending eighth time, and this game promises to be a nerve-racking showdown as we get to see two of Liverpool’s leading forwards in Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah lock horns for continental glory.
On the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Algeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final, Senegal came into this year’s edition as one of the continent’s biggest sides yet to lift the title despite multiple final appearances.
Following their somewhat unconvincing group-stage run, Senegal found their magic touch in the round of 16 as they put two past Cape Verde on January 25 courtesy of second-half goals from Mane and Ahmadou Bamba Dieng.
Aliou Cisse’s side continued their sensational run in the quarter-finals and semis where they claimed a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Equatorial Guinea five and Burkina Faso respectively to reach their third AFCON in history.
Egypt, on the other hand, are the most decorated side in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, conquering the continent on seven different occasions, with their last title triumph coming back in 2010, when they saw off Ghana 1-0.
Finishing as runners-up in Group D with six points from nine available, the North Africans progressed to the last 16 where they saw off tournament favourites Ivory Coast on penalties following a goalless 120 minutes before going ahead to send Morocco parking from the tournament after a 2-1.
The Pharaohs then stunned tournament hosts Cameroon last time out when they claimed a 3-1 victory on penalties to secure a place in the final following a goalless 120 minutes at the Paul Biya Stadium.
While Egypt have struggled to get going in attack, they owe their journey to the finals to the solid job done at the opposite end of the pitch, where they have kept four clean sheets and conceded just twice so far at the tournament.