In a surprising turn of events at the Africa Cup of Nations, Ivory Coast, the host nation, managed to beat Senegal in a tense penalty shootout.
This victory was unexpected because Senegal was seen as the favorite team. They had won all their games in the group stage, unlike Ivory Coast, which barely made it into the quarter-finals.
The game started with Senegal taking the lead thanks to a goal by Habib Diallo. However, Ivory Coast fought back and equalized the score near the end of the match with a penalty goal by Franck Kessie. The match ended 1-1 in regular time, pushing it into extra time and then a penalty shootout.
During the penalty shootout, both teams showed skill, but Ivory Coast edged out Senegal 5-4. The winning goal was again scored by Kessie, making him a key player for Ivory Coast.
This win was particularly impressive because Ivory Coast had been struggling in the tournament and didn’t even have a head coach.
In another match, Cape Verde beat Mauritania 1-0, securing their spot in the quarter-finals. Ryan Mendes, the captain of Cape Verde, scored the decisive goal in the late minutes of the game. Cape Verde will now face either Morocco or South Africa in their next match.
Ivory Coast’s next opponent will be either Mali or Burkina Faso. If they win that, they could face DR Congo or Guinea in the semi-finals.
Considering their performance against Senegal, Ivory Coast might have a chance to go far in this tournament.
The team has some strong players on the bench, like Haller, Kouame, Pepe, and Kessie, who could potentially lead them to victory in the upcoming matches.
Senegal, on the other hand, will have to reflect on their loss. Despite a strong start in the tournament, they couldn’t maintain their momentum and were eliminated in a rather unexpected way.
The defeat will likely lead to questions about their strategy and performance in crucial moments of the Africa Cup of Nations.