Senegal Beat Tunisia in Extra Time to Advance to 2019 AFCON Final

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIJuly 14, 2019

Senegalese players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Semi-final football match between Senegal and Tunisia at the 30 June stadium in Cairo on July 14, 2019. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)
KHALED DESOUKI/Getty Images

Senegal secured their place in the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday. The Lions of Teranga secured a 1-0 win over Tunisia after extra time at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo, Egypt. 

Neither side was able to break the deadlock in a tense first half, although Senegal went closest when Youssouf Sabaly curled a shot on to the woodwork after 23 minutes.

Both teams missed penalties in a tense and tight second half. Tunisia's Ferjani Sassi saw his tame effort saved by goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, while Henri Saivet was denied minutes later by Mouez Hassen.

The deadlock was finally broken in the first period of stoppage time. Tunisia struggled to defend Sadio Mane's free-kick into the penalty area, and the ball deflected off Dylan Bronn and into his own net.

Senegal enjoyed the better of the first half but could not find a breakthrough against a Tunisia side happy to sit back and try to catch their opponents on the counter-attack.

Sabaly came the closest to netting the opener after 26 minutes. The Bordeaux full-back cut inside and curled a shot past goalkeeper Hassen, only to see it hit the woodwork and fly away to safety (U.S. only):

Liverpool forward Mane was causing Tunisia problems and went close seven minutes before half-time. The 27-year-old managed to round Hassen but could only fire wide from a tight angle.

Tunisia made a change at half-time, sending on Naim Sliti for captain Youssef Msakni, and the Eagles of Carthage twice went close to an opener at the start of the second half.

Taha Yassine Khenissi lobbed the ball off target when played through on goal and then saw a shot punched clear by goalkeeper Gomis minutes later.

Tunisia then needed Hassen to deny Mane as he attempted to round the goalkeeper after a lovely backheel from M'Baye Niang.

Senegal sent on Galatasaray striker Mbaye Diagne after 64 minutes in search of the elusive goal but were fortunate to escape going one down when Kalidou Koulibaly was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Sassi stepped up to take the kick but could only manage a tame effort that was saved by Gomis (UK only):

Senegal were then awarded a penalty of their own minutes later after Ismaila Sarr was brought down by Bronn.

Yet again the opportunity was spurned, as Henri Saivet saw his kick clawed away by goalkeeper Hassen (U.S only):

The two teams could not be separated after 90 minutes, but Senegal did manage to find the breakthrough in the first period of extra time.

Goalkeeper Hassen could only flap at a Mane free-kick into the penalty area, and the ball deflected off Bronn and into the back of his own net:

Tunisia thought they had been awarded a second penalty of the match deep into the second period of stoppage time after Idrissa Gueye was adjudged to have handled the ball.

However, the decision was overturned after a video assistant referee review, allowing Senegal to see out the game and make it through to their first AFCON final since 2002.

  

What's Next?

Senegal must wait to discover who they will face in Friday's final. They will play the winner of Sunday's second semi-final between Algeria and Nigeria. Tunisia will play the loser of the match in Wednesday's third-place play-off.

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