Senegal booked its tickets for the World Cup in Qatar following a crazy penalty shootout against Egypt at the Olympic Stadium in Diamniadio.
Egypt won the first leg of the qualification playoff 1-0 on Friday, with the same score after 90 minutes in the return leg played in Senegal. The two teams could only be separated through a penalty shootout, just as was the case in the African Cup of Nations last act in February. There was no happy ending for Egypt back then and history repeated itself on Tuesday night. Sadio Mane’s Senegal won the shootout to seal a spot at the World Cup in Qatar.
Liverpool’s superstar Mohamed Salah missed his penalty shot for Egypt, with images of his failed attempt shared all over social media. Salah’s face was flooded with laser lights from the stands, so the attacker lost his concentration and sent the ball over the crossbar.
I mean, just look at this. Salah sails his penalty over… and surely anybody would, given the lasers.
Mane scores, Senegal wins the shootout, Egypt out of the World Cup pic.twitter.com/tgHmCmW8uu
— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) March 29, 2022
Of the four players who took shots for Egypt, just Amr El Soleya found the net.
The other Liverpool top man involved in the match, Sadio Mane, converted Senegal’s decisive penalty to confirm his team’s third participation at a World Cup after those in 2002 and 2018.
SALAH SKIES THE PENALTY AGAINST MENDY! pic.twitter.com/FBpsxl4FQ2
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
Another African giant, Nigeria, will also miss the World Cup after failing to get past Ghana at home (1-1). The Black Stars qualified thanks to the away goal rule, which is still applied by the African Confederation. It finished 0-0 in Kumasi on Friday.
Nigeria had qualified for six of the previous seven World Cups.
The bookies can’t see any of the African teams bothering the favorites on their route to World Cup glory in Qatar. The Ivory Coast is at +25000 to lift the trophy, with Morocco varying from +15000 to +25000, depending on the betting operator. Senegal is given even lower chances, going from +15000 to +30000, while Cameroon is behind at +40000.