Senegal crowned WAFU champions

Senegal crowned WAFU champions

The Teranga Lions of Senegal are the champions of the WAFU Cup of Nations after beating the Black Stars of Ghana 3-1 on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate after extra-time at the Stade Lat Dior in Thies.

Substitute Youssouph Mamadou Badji gave the hosts an extra-time lead before Joseph Esso restored parity with a screamer inside the area to force the match to nervy shootouts.

The match was played in exciting fashion as both sides came out attacking from the first kick of the game but it was the Black Stars who came close to breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute when Mohammed Habib’s glancing header struck the far post from Augustine Okrah’s inswing cross.

The hosts threaten twice in three minutes as they look for the opening goal of the game at the sold out Stade Lat Dior in Thies.

Philippe Paulin Keny headed a teasing cross from the lively Ousseynou Niang wide off the Ghana goal.

Two minutes later the hosts caused mayhem inside the Ghana area from a set piece by Ibrahima Dramebut Moustapha Nam couldn’t direct his effort goal wards as they settled for a goalless first period.

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The hosts returned from the interval very determined for the breakthrough and they should have been in the lead two minutes after the break when attacking midfielder Assane Mbodj headed a cross wide at the back post.

Assane was again close to breaking the deadlock when he turned his marker on the edge of the area before firing a shot which went inches wide.

The Black Stars had to wait until the 68th minute to create a meaningful chance in the second period when Okrah danced through the Senegal defense only to be denied by the experienced Pape Saidou Ndiaye who was quick to react.

The leading goal scorer of the tournament Mumuni Shafiu forced a save from Ndiaye ten minutes before time with his fierce pin point header parried away by the excellent Pape Sadio.

Seringne Saliou Dia’s charges up the ante of the match in the last minutes of the 90 and they came very close through substitute Youssouph Badji who headed Niang’s delivery against the post in the 85th minute.

Badji broke the deadlock two minutes into second half of extra time with strong left footed effort inside the area to send the Lat Dior stadium to wild celebrations.

The Black Stars rallied back to equalized two minutes later when Joseph Esso turned home a loose ball past Pape Saidou to make it 1-1 and force the match to penalties.

Generation Foot goalkeeper Pape Saidou Ndiaye was the hero of the shootouts pulling two saves from Justice Blay and Augustine Okrah whiles Mohammed Fatau crashed the woodwork to give Senegal the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nation.

Individual Accolades:

Player of the tournament – Jean Mouste (Guinea)

Goalkeeper of the tournament – Alpha Jalloh (Liberia )

Leading goal scorer of the tournament – Mumuni Shafiu (Ghana)

Curtesy of cafonline.com

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