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.
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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.
POETIC JUSTICE! 👏🏾
20 years ago as captain of Senegal, Aliou Cisse and the Teranga Lions lost to Cameroon in the AFCON 2002 final and now in Cameroon, he leads Senegal 🇸🇳 to their first ever AFCON trophy as coach.
Success might delay but it can never be denied with consistency. pic.twitter.com/J2uqDy2xAc
— Usher Komugisha (@UsherKomugisha) February 6, 2022
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”.
That is why your best penalty taker should never go fifth. Mo Salah not taking a penalty for Egypt in a shootout in a final is madness. Also happened to Ronaldo years ago for Portugal v Spain. #AFCON2021 #SENEGY
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) February 6, 2022
This is what happened when Al Jazeera’s Assed Beig tried reporting on Senegal’s win while standing among the celebrating fans.
I tried doing a piece to camera when Senegal became champions…you have to love the fans 😂 pic.twitter.com/tMZMn2pOZd
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) February 7, 2022
There were also comments on Mane’s strong nerves for not missing the penalty after failing on the previous attempt.
What a penalty from Sadio Mane. 👏That’s pressure, especially having missed one early on. Mane ends Senegal’s long wait for AFCON glory. Classy touch as he goes to console Mohamed Salah.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) February 6, 2022
Sadio Mané you absolute superhero. To face destiny twice, to be denied in devastating fashion and then to come right back. Absolutely amazing. Sporting guts beyond words. #AFCON2021
— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) February 6, 2022
Football clubs, including Chelsea and Liverpool FC, joined the chorus in congratulating the team and Mane’s final kick.
𝗛𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗿. 🇸🇳
Congratulations, Sadio 👏 pic.twitter.com/HvZr6e9Qow
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 6, 2022
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”.
Really couldn’t happen to a nicer more positive person – so proud and pleased for him I’m sure there will be quite some reception for him at Selhurst when he returns #cpfc
— Steve Parish (@CEO4TAG) February 6, 2022
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.
Champions d’Afrique !!! Quel match! Quelle équipe ! Vous l’avez fait! Beau moment de football, beau moment de communion et de fierté nationale.
Tellement fiers de vous! Félicitations à nos héros !
Coupe bi nieuw na!🇸🇳
MERCI JËRËJËF pic.twitter.com/9tZZbJlj4P
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) February 6, 2022
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.
— Moussa Faki Mahamat (@AUC_MoussaFaki) February 6, 2022
To mark the historical moment, Senegalese football player Idrissa Gana Gueye posted a picture of the team, writing simply: “History”.
History 🏆🇸🇳 pic.twitter.com/62MwpY2teN
— Idrissa Gana Gueye (@IGanaGueye) February 7, 2022
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.
Congratulations to Senegal 🇸🇳 for winning the Africa Cup of Nations.
They left no doubt on their performance in the final.#AFCON2021
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) February 6, 2022
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:
Senegal’s president after Mane missed the penalty 🥶🤨 pic.twitter.com/N9VhQ0Sfmp
— Visit Ugañdâ 🇺🇬 (@LapulgaUg) February 6, 2022