The African line-up for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup has concluded with the return leg matches of the play-off round completed in a sensational and exciting fashion on Tuesday. African champions Senegal headline the five African countries to proceed to the World Cup alongside Morocco, Ghana, Tunisia and Cameroon.
For the second time in as many months, Senegal edged out Egypt on penalties. Having beaten the Pharaohs on spot-kicks to clinch their first Africa Cup of Nations title, the Lions of Teranga repeated the same feat, this time to seal a place in the World Cup.
Once again, it was Sadio Mane who scored the decisive kick as Senegal progressed to the World Cup for the third time in their history.
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In the shootout, both teams missed their first two kicks. Kalidou Koulibaly struck the crossbar for Senegal before Saliou Ciss saw his effort saved. On the other end, Mohamed Salah blazed his effort over the bar while Ahmed Mostafa ‘Zizo’ struck wide.
Ismaila Sarr however scored the third for the Senegalese with Ahmed El Solia responding for Egypt. Bamba Dieng then stepped up to score the fourth and they were handed a massive boost when Edouard Mendy saved Mostafa Mohamed’s attempt. It was now up to Mane to score the decider, and the Liverpool forward made no mistake.
In regulation time, Senegal had scored in the fourth minute, just about the same time Egypt scored in the first leg. Boulaye Dia made the most of a defensive lapse to score and level the tie on aggregate.
32 teams. 1 ball to make their dreams a reality
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The 1-0 scoreline on the night would stay till the end of 90 minutes and an additional 30, prompting the game to be decided on penalties. Elsewhere, Ghana qualified for their fourth World Cup after edging out Nigeria on the away goal rule following a 1-1 draw in Abuja. The two sides drew 0-0 in the first leg in Kumasi last week and heading into the return fixture, the Ghanaians only needed a scoring draw to progress.