Sadio Mane may not have had the best performance during the final match of the 2022 Afcon finals in Cameroon.
However, the Liverpool forward still had a relief after he scored the winner penalty against his English Premier League teammate Mohammed Salah’s Egypt.
Egypt’s Mohamed Abdelmonem fouled Saliou Ciss in the box in the seventh minute, and when Mane stepped forwad to take the spot kick, everyone was sure this could make the difference in the score line.
But Mane missed the penalty after smashing the ball in the arms of Egypt goalie, Gabasky.
Pressure seemed to have taken toll on Mane whose performance dropped, as he lost a number of open chances.
The game ended in a 0-0 draw after extra time, forcing the teams to go for penalty kicks, which Senegal won 4-2.
But after the match, Mane opened up on how his teammates stood with him, giving him the morale to play on after missing the penalty early in the match.
“After missing the penalty, everyone came to me to tell me ‘Sadio, we don’t care what happened, we lose together, we win together,’ and we pushed again,” said Mane.
And when the match ended in 0-0 after the extra time, Mane knew he was faced with another spot kick.
“When I was going to shoot the second penalty, they all came to me and told me ‘we trust you, go do it’, and I think that is what made the difference,” said Mane.
He dedicated the trophy to Senegal team coach Aliou Cicce who he praised for working hard to push the team to its first ever Afcon trophy.
“This man (Cicce) for me is something else,” he noted.