Sadio Mané is a champion of Africa today after the star forward was given a chance at redemption on Sunday evening and took it to lead his nation to a historic first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in a penalty shootout.
It stood as redemption on two fronts, as Senegal and Mané made it to the final in the 2019 edition of the tournament only to fall to defeat to Algeria. And in Sunday’s game, Mané had been given the chance to win the tournament in regulation time.
In just the seventh minute of the match, Mané stepped up to take a penalty only to see it saved by Egypt stopper Gabaski—who may seemed to have been given advice ahead of it by Mané’s club teammate Mohamed Salah.
Two more scoreless hours of football would be played out before the game went to penalties with Mané and then Salah set to take the fifth and potentially decisive kick for their respective countries. This time, Mané didn’t miss.
His shot was decisive and meant that Salah didn’t even have the opportunity to take his, and afterwards, Mané was named Player of the Tournament for his three goals, two assists, and often dominant play on the way to the final.
A moment to celebrate and reflect for the player is in order, but it won’t be long before Mané and Salah are both headed back to Liverpool with a game against Leicester City set for Thursday evening and then Burnley up on Sunday.