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CHAN: Young and calm Senegal keep their nerve in the final to stun hosts Algeria in penalty shootout

A young Senegal team are the champions of the 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) after defeating hosts Algeria in a penalty kick shootout following 120 minutes of scoreless football at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers on Saturday. With the Senegal team staring down defeat goalkeeping hero Pape Sy denied Aymen Mahious before Ahmed Kendouci put his spot kick off the crossbar to clinch a remarkable victory for the Local Lions. Algeria finish as runners-up despite conceding zero goals throughout the entire competition.

There was plenty of energy and open play throughout the match but both teams lacked a cutting edge in the attacking end. Senegal had the first close opportunity in the 24th minute when a cross from the left wing nearly picked out Malick Mbaye at the far post but Algeria captain Ayoub Abdellaoui came in with a timely challenge.

Algeria turned up the pressure in the second half but committed several turnovers in the midfield that led to Senegalese attacks. However the Local Lions too often settled for long range shots that posed little threat to Algeria goalkeeper Alexis Guendouz. Senegal keeper Pape Sy was secure and well positioned to keep Algeria from threatening with their preferred method of crossing the ball.

The teams remained scoreless after ninety minutes and Senegal were content to defend while Algeria attempted to push for a winner. Sy came up with a crucial save from a Houssem Mrezigue volley in the 107th minute and penalty kicks were required. Sy appeared to have saved Algeria’s first attempt from substitute Akram Djahnit but was judged to have come off his line too early.

Both teams made their first three efforts before Senegal center back Cheikhou Ndiaye put his effort off the crossbar and the hosts had the edge. It was all set up for tournament top scorer Mahious to win it on Algeria’s fifth attempt but Sy did not fall for the USM Alger striker’s stutter step and kept his team alive with a crucial save. Ndiaye’s center back partner Ousmane Diouf converted on Senegal’s sixth attempt, setting up Kendouci’s crucial miss off the crossbar to clinch Senegalese glory.

Highlights of the final are below.

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