Cote d'Ivoire send Senegal out of AFCON


Cote d'Ivoire players celebrate their victory

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Elephant of Cote d’Ivoire have sent the defending champions Senegal out of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), winning 5-4 on penalties.

Cote d’Ivoire, which managed to qualify as one of the best losers, displayed beautiful football to deservedly win the epic encounter.

On paper, Senegal were over 80 per cent tipped to defeat the Elephants, but the reverse was the case as the match ended 1-1 after extra-time, necessitating a penalty to decide the winner.

Cote d’Ivoire scored all five penalties while Senegal missed one.

Senegal had taken the lead four minutes into the game. Habib Diallo scored with a brilliant shot into the top left corner after being released inside the box by a superb lofted pass from Sadio Mane.

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In the 41st minute, Seko Fofana picked up a precise pass deep inside the box, but the keeper saved his strike.

In the 47th minute, Diallo had time and space inside the box after picking up a neat pass, but his shot towards the bottom left corner was brilliantly saved by Yahia Fofana.

Lamine Camara, in the 70th minute, decided to unleash a long-range shot. Despite hitting it very well, it scorched inches wide of the left post.

Five minutes later, Mane received a brilliant pass and wasted a big opportunity as his shot from inside the penalty area flew narrowly wide of the left post.

Cote d’Ivoire equalised four minutes to the end of the game from the penalty spot. Franck Kessie put the ball into the bottom right corner past the outstretched arm of Edouard Mendy.

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