AFCON 2022 Recap

FAITH GEMOH , writer

The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final aired on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022. The soccer match resulted in a 3-1 victory for Senegal.

All four goals were scored in the second half of the game- the first being at the 7o-minute mark (A. Diallo). Six minutes later, B. Dieng scored the second goal for Senegal. Y. Toure was able to get one goal for Burkina Faso at the 82nd minute, but 5 minutes later S. Mane sealed the deal by scoring a third goal for Senegal.

The second round of semi-finals aired on Thursday, February 3rd. The match between Cameroon and Egypt was considered one of the more difficult games of the tournament.

Neither team scored in the first half. This trend continued through the second half; after 90 minutes of play, both teams tied 0-0. Thirty minutes of overtime were added to the round but no team was able to score. After 120 minutes of fierce competition, officials decided to determine the score with 5 penalty kicks for each team.

Both teams scored their first shots. Cameroon then misses 3 penalties in a row. Egypt scores their next two shots, and the game ends on a 3-1 win for Egypt, thus eliminating Cameroon from the AFCON tournament.

The first round of finals occured on February 5th between Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso starts strong with an opening goal by S. Yago in the 24th minute. A. Onana, Cameroon’s goalkeeper, mistakenly scores on his own goal in the 43th minute. At the end of the first half, Burkina Faso was two goals ahead of Cameroon. Just 4 minutes into the second half, D. Ouattara scores Burkina Faso’s third goal. Cameroon’s fate seems sealed until S. Bahoken scores through the back of his opponent’s net. The tournament highest scorer, Cameroon’s V. Aboubakar, adds another goal to his name in 85th minute, thus making the scores 3-2. The lion strikes again, and Aboubakar levels the scores in the 87th minute. The game remains scoreless for 30 minutes, interrupted by five scored penalty kicks from Cameroon. Burkina Faso is also offered five penalties, but unlike Cameroon they only score three.

The championship match aired on February 6th between Senegal and Egypt. Senegal dominated Egypt in the first half, but Egypt would eventually turn the tables. The game goes into overtime with Senegal’s Sadio Mane missing a penalty in the first OT half. After a scoreless second half, the match is decided by 5 penalty kicks. Both teams score their first kicks, but unlike Senegal, Egypt misses their second kick. Contrastingly, Egypt scores their third kick and Senegal misses theirs. The tables turn once more- Senegal scores their fourth kick and Egypt misses theirs. Prior to the final round of penalties, the 3-2 scoreĀ  puts Senegal in the lead. Senegal’s final kick would decide the fate of the game, and Sadio Mane releases a rocket shot that finds the back of the Egyptian net. Mane’s bottom right goal gives Senegal their first ever AFCON trophy.

We look forward to the next AFCON tournament, which will be in 2024. Until then, soccer fans can look forward to the FIFA World Tournament in Fall 2022.