‘Poetic justice’: How the world reacted to Senegal’s AFCON win

Celebrations across Senegal and on social media after the team’s maiden Africa Cup of Nations triumph.

Senegal's fans celebrate after winning the Africa Cup of Nations final against Egypt
Senegal's fans celebrate after winning the Africa Cup of Nations final against Egypt [Zohra Bensemra/Reuters]

Jubilant football fans poured onto the streets across Senegal, while social media went into overdrive to celebrate the West African nation’s historic and maiden Africa Cup of Nations triumph.

A public holiday was declared in the country after Senegal beat seven-time winners Egypt with Sadio Mane converting the decisive penalty in the final at the Olembe Stadium in Cameroon’s Yaounde on Sunday evening.

Mane stepped up to make history for Senegal with a 4-2 victory, banishing memories of the team’s 2019 failure when they lost the final to Algeria. The Liverpool striker had also missed a seventh-minute penalty.

Here is how the world reacted to Senegal’s win:

“Success might delay but it can never be denied with consistency,” African football journalist Usher Komugisha tweeted in reference to Senegal team coach Aliou Cisse who lost an AFCON final as a player in 2002 and as coach in 2019.

Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool player, where Mane and Mo Salah both play currently, said the decision to leave Egypt’s Mohamed Salah for the last kick (which was not needed in the end) was “madness”.

This is what happened when Al Jazeera’s Assed Beig tried reporting on Senegal’s win while standing among the celebrating fans.

There were also comments on Mane’s strong nerves for not missing the penalty after failing on the previous attempt.

Football clubs, including Chelsea and Liverpool FC, joined the chorus in congratulating the team and Mane’s final kick.

Steve Parish, chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club in England, congratulated Senegal player Cheikhou Kouyate, adding that it “could have not happened to a nicer more positive person”.

Enthusiasm for Senegal’s victory stretched into the world of politics with the country’s President Macky Sall calling it a “beautiful moment of communion and national pride”.

“So proud of you! Congratulations to our heroes!” he added.

Translation: African champions!!! What a game! What a team! You did it! Beautiful football moment, beautiful moment of communion and national pride. So proud of you! Congratulations to our heroes!

Compliments poured also from the African Union as the 55-country bloc’s Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat congratulated the team on his Twitter account.

To mark the historical moment, Senegalese football player Idrissa Gana Gueye posted a picture of the team, writing simply: “History”.

Cheers also came from other champion athletes, such as world heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

“They left no doubt on their performance in the final,” he said.

Video on social media showed crowds in Senegal’s capital Dakar in jubilation:

And a reminder to all those celebrating at how things did not go according to plan at the start:

Source: Al Jazeera