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Ivory Coast 1 (5)-(4) 1 Senegal: AFCON hosts send the defending champions packing

Moussa Niakhate failed to convert his penalty in the shootout, leading to the elimination of defending champions Senegal from the Africa Cup of Nations against hosts Ivory Coast.

The troubled AFCON hosts Ivory Coast have managed a huge upset by knocking out the defending champions and the favorites of the competition, Senegal, in the penalty shoot-outs.

The dramatic Senegal exit occurred after a 1-1 draw with AFCON hosts Ivory Coast at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium on Monday, concluding in a tense 5-4 loss in the shootout.

Senegal made a swift start, grabbing the lead within four minutes. Sadio Mane delivered a cross from the left, and Habib Diallo chested it down before unleashing a powerful shot from 10 yards that found the top corner of the net. After his earlier poor challenge, Sadio Mane escaped a potential red card.

Ivory Coast vs Senegal: Kessie, the hero from the spot!

However, despite their early lead, Senegal couldn’t extend it, and they suffered consequences when the Ivorians were awarded a clear penalty.

The hosts were given the perfect chance to redeem themselves when Franck Kessie converted the penalty, leveling the score four minutes before the end of the regulation 90 minutes.

Both teams showed glimpses of brilliance in the extra time but none came close to scoring, leading them to the dreaded penalty shoot-outs after 120 minutes of open play.

The penalty shoot-out went on without a hitch for both sides as Koulibaly and Pape Sarr scored their penalties for Senegal and Pepe and Kouame converted theirs for Ivory Coast. But the twist came when Moussa Niakhate hit his left-footed effort to the post, missing Senegal’s third. The rest of the penalties for both sides were scored with Franck Kessie converting the last one, sending the hosts into the quarter-finals.

Ivory Coast will now face the winner of Tuesday’s last-16 tie between Mali and Burkina Faso in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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