March 28, 2023


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Afcon 2021: Senegal into AFCON final after overcoming Burkina Faso

3 min read

Sadio Mane sealed a 3-1 win for Senegal over Burkina Faso as they reached their second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations final.

After twice being denied a penalty by VAR before the break, Abdou Diallo and Bamba Dieng struck in a six-minute period to put Senegal well in control of the match.

Blati Toure pulled one back with seven minutes remaining to give Burkina Faso hope, but Mane broke away and finished wonderfully to put the result beyond doubt.

In 2019, Senegal were beaten by Algeria in the AFCON final. They will get another chance to lift the trophy for a first time on Sunday, when they face either Cameroon or Egypt.

The first-half was 55 minutes long, as a number of stoppages and injuries disrupted proceedings. Idrissa Gueye and Cyrille Bayala ran into each in the opening minutes, resulting in a nasty clash of heads, though both were able to continue.

Bamba Dieng headed just wide for Senegal, before the referee pointed to the spot after Herve Koffi took out Cheikhou Kouyate in the air. However, after a VAR review, the decision was overturned as replays showed that the goalkeeper did punch the ball away, even if he did then clatter into Kouyate. The collision forced Koffi off.

Burkina Faso responded well to the reprieve, as Edouard Mendy was forced into a save at his near post from a Hassane Bande shot.

With ten seconds left of first-half stoppage-time, the referee once again awarded Senegal a penalty. Sadio Mane’s cut-back found Gueye, and his strike was blocked by Edmond Taposoba who was booked for handall. But once again VAR came to the rescue of Burkina Faso, overturning both the penalty and the card.

It was a cagey start to the second-half, with neither side able to take full control or create any clear cut chances. Bertrand Traore threatened to get in behind for Burkina Faso as Mendy hesitated in goal, but Kalidou Koulibaly got back brilliantly to slide in and clear the danger.

Senegal broke the deadlock with 20 minutes to go after Burkina Faso failed to deal with a corner. The ball dropped in the box, Koulibaly sent it back towards goal with an overhead kick and it fell to his centre-back partner Diallo. He controlled and then fired home, to give Senegal the crucial opening goal.

It was two shortly after, as Mane kept the ball in brilliantly and put it on a plate for Dieng to score into an empty net. Gueye also went in for the finish, and it looked like both of the Senegal players might have made contact at the same time.

Toure somehow kneed past Mendy from 12 yards out with eight minutes remaining, to pull one back and give Burkina Faso hope of a grandstand finish.

But as they piled men forward, Toure and Edmond Tapsoba got in each other’s way and Senegal pounced. Mane burst forward and chipped over the goalkeeper to put the result beyond doubt, and send Senegal through to another final.

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