The world took to the streets and social media as the Senegalese 'Lions of Teranga' won the AFCON title for the first time in history!
Hoards of fans cheered on the West African nation as they put on a bold game against Egypt in the final, walking away as the champions of this year's African Cup of Nations for the first time in history. Sunday's game ended in a cutthroat penalty shootout, with Liverpool Club Forward Sadio Mane scoring the decisive penalty at the Olembe Stadium, in Cameroon's capital Yaounde. The final score saw Senegal beat Eqypt 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 finish at the 120-minute mark. The final match went on as planned in the shadow of the fatal stadium stampede that killed at least eight people, during host country Cameroon's January 24th game against Comoros at the same stadium.
Crowds around the world took to the streets to celebrate Senegal's national team, 'The Lions of Teranga', while Senegalese President Macky Sall made Monday a public holiday -- a day to remember and celebrate the national team being crowned champions at their 16th AFCON appearance to date. Beating 7-time champions Egypt saw Senegal's rockstar Edouard Mendy be named as the Goalkeeper of the Tournament, and Mane received the 'Player of the Tournament award. On his historical win, Mane said, "It's the best day of my life and the best trophy of my life. I won the Champions League and some [other] trophies but this is the special one for me. This is more important for me."
Egypt's Mohamed Salah and the rest of his teammates were pictured distraught as 'The Pharaohs' national team end the tournament with an arguably unsatisfactory scoreboard.
All of the excitement was captured beautifully on social media, as soccer's ability to unite masses through celebration rang true throughout this year's much-anticipated tournament.
Fans in Senegal's capital Dakar gathered to celebrate the country bringing home their first AFCON trophy.
Streets of Dakar moments after Senegal won their first ever African Cup of Nations Championship. Football is such a force of joy in our chaotic world. Have a night Senegal fans pic.twitter.com/4GNnJt6DCL— roger bennett (@roger bennett) 1644189866
Fans in Harmel, New York celebrate Senegal's first AFCON championship.
Fans of the sport give Senegalese coach Aliou Cisse his flowers as they recall his own penalty loss against Cameroon in the AFCON 2002 when he played for the Teranga Lions.
POETIC JUSTICE! \n\n20 years ago as captain of Senegal, Aliou Cisse and the Teranga Lions lost to Cameroon in the AFCON 2002 final and now in Cameroon, he leads Senegal to their first ever AFCON trophy as coach.\n\nSuccess might delay but it can never be denied with consistency.pic.twitter.com/J2uqDy2xAc— Usher Komugisha (@Usher Komugisha) 1644184357