Sadio Mane’s goal on Wednesday Night against Burkina Faso saw Senegal reach the AFCON finals. They will face seven-time champion Egypt in the finals.
This year may be the first time that Senegal may win a major trophy. But this is not the only historical moment that may take place this year. With Sadio Mane’s last goal, he has closed in and equalled the record of the highest goalscorer in Senegal football history.
The Liverpool powerhouse has been highly influential in helping Senegal move past others to the final in the AFCON this year. The Lions of Teranga had a fairly decent run in the competition scoring 9 goals to reach the final with 3 goals coming from Mane. In the last two games, Senegal has scored 3 goals each and conceded 1 in return.
Sadio Mane closes in on goalscoring record
Sadio Mane is on his way to breaking his predecessor Henri Camara’s top goalscoring record in the finals of the AFCON. Mane was named the Man of the Match for equaling the record and helping in the West African side’s win.
Henri Camara was the former Wolves, Celtic, and Wigan striker, who had scored 29 goals for his country, making him the country’s highest goalscorer. Henri Camara also helped the country become the second African country to reach the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in the year 2002.
However, while Henri Camara scored 29 goals in 99 appearances, Sadio Mane achieved the same in 86 appearances.
After a goalless first half, Abdou Diallo and Idrissa Gueye scored two goals to give Senegal the lead. Senegal was soon met with a goal for Burkina by Blati Toure. However, the victory was sealed by Sadio Mane who chipped in his 29th goal for the country.
Best player of the tournament?
Sadio Mane seems to be in high spirits at the moment. Mane has expressed his desire to go “all the way” to win the championship this year.
When asked about equaling Camara’s record, he said, “I think you can see on my face how happy I am! Which is completely normal. I’m really proud personally, very happy as well for myself, my teammates, all of my country.”
Fans have also hailed Mane’s achievements, calling him the best player of the tournament this year.
Final against Egypt
On the other side, Egypt defeated hosts Cameroon 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out to reach the finals of the competition. Goalkeeper Mohamed Abou Gabal pulled off two brilliant saves to push the Pharaohs to the final stage.
Egypt will be aiming to win the AFCON for a record eight-time this year when they face Senegal. This will be Senegal’s second consecutive final who had reached the finals in 2019, only to lose 1-0 to Algeria.
A lot is at stake and with Mane’s top-notch form, Senegal are planning to snatch this historic win. Sadio Mane will be facing his Liverpool teammate Mohammed Salah in the finals at Paul Biya Stadium on Sunday.