Sadio Mane was the hero once again as he sent Senegal to the World Cup by beating Egypt 3-1 on penalties. His Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah endured heartbreak once again and this time around his skied his spot-kick under pressure….
Senegal were off to the perfect start when Villarreal frontman Boulaye Dia drew the hosts level on aggregate inside just four minutes.
After left-back Saliou Ciss went on a rampaging run down the flank, the 32-year-old was chopped down – resulting in a free-kick.
Idrissa Gana Gueye swung the ball deep to the back post before it was headed back across goal to Dia, who gratefully converted.
Egypt goalkeeper Mohammed El Shenawy was forced to contend with a number of lasers being flashed in his face throughout proceedings.
Senegal fans also targeted Mohamed Salah during the national anthems and it would soon prove to be a constant theme throughout the match.
The Pharaohs spent the majority of the opening 20 minutes breaking up the play as their players went to ground requesting treatment.
However, starters Rami Rabia and Omar Gaber were forced off the field of play when they picked up injured following strong tackles from Senegal.
Carlos Queiroz was forced into two changes as his side looked to recover from conceding their early goal.
In the second half, Zizo had two clear chances to restore Egypt’s lead but he fluffed his line, missing the target twice.
Watford’s Ismaila Sarr also had a golden opportunity to put Senegal ahead but the jet-heeled winger failed to convert as the game headed to extra-time.
Sarr soon missed another glorious chance in extra-time when Sadio Mane put the ball across the face of goal and El Shenawy scrambled across his line to save brilliantly.
Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse then forced El Shenawy into another brilliant double save as Egypt continued to hold on.
Marseille’s Bamba Dieng also had a crack from range in the second half of extra-time that flew just wide.
After a gruelling 210 minutes of action, the play-off would be decided by penalties, just like the Africa Cup of Nations final…