Senegal; a new king in African football

In the years past, the West African state of Senegal watched countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt and others raise trophies in football, today Senegal is lifting the trophies and gradually settling in as the new man on the table of African football. It was Senegal who overpowered Egypt in Cameroon to win the 2021 AFCON, it was the same Senegal that outsmarted host, Algeria and won the 2022 CHAN, and Senegal once more at the Cairo International Stadium humbled The Gambia 2-0 to win the prestigious title of the 2023 U-20 AFCON, Senegal again beat Egypt to win the 2022 Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations

Infact, Senegal is having it all and as at now, Macky Sall’s country is reigning champions of the two most prestigious championships in African football under the CAF, that is, Senegal is title holders of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and same time the winners of the 2022 African Nations Championship dubbed CHAN.

This leaves Senegal in the wall of fame of African football just like Egypt, Cameroon, Tunisia, Nigeria and Congo have set some precedents and stamped some mark of prowess in the continental football tournaments. South Africa has made history has the only African country to host the FIFA World Cup and in a grand style

The men of Aliou Cissé beat Egypt on Sunday, February 6 with a 4-2 win in the penalty shoot-out at the 60.000 capacity Olembé stadium in Yaounde to grab the first historic AFCON trophy.

Though, 7th time AFCON winners, Egypt had a good game with some 57% ball possession, Sadio Mané and his boys stopped Mohammed Salah’s dream of rising to the top in African football. The Teranga Lions Senegal started on a good foot and at the 4th minute, Mohamed Abou Gabal, the Egyptian goalkeeper, made a save to stop Senegal from taking lead.

On February 4, 2023, Senegal extended dominance to the CHAN to complete the continental double. The Teranga Lions thrashed hosts Algeria on penalties at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers to collect their first CHAN title, becoming the only team in African history to hold both crowns at the same time.

On March 11, 2023, the baby Lions of the Teranga, three-time runners up of the U-20 AFCON finally moved to a new status to be become the reigning champions of the tournament after beating The Gambia 2-0 with goals from Mame Faye 6’, Mamadou Lamine and Camara 56’ to lift yet another trophy for the Senegalese football federation.

Senegal overpowered Egypt to become winner of the 2022 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations, seventh win for the West African country. Infact Senegal was stopped by England at the World Cup in Qatar from sailing through to the prestigious stage. The Women’s team ended their expedition at the 2022 AWCON in Morocco as the quarter finalists.

Senegal’s dominance has been attributed to the Ministry’s decision to ensure that the Senegalese football federation is an independent body void of external influence, many say the government of Senegal has invested judiciously in constructing and rehabilitating football facilities in the country while encouraging local football training centres and local football to flourish.

Benly Anchunda

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