Senegal have substitute Moussa Ndiaye to thank as he climbed off the bench to squeeze in his country’s first TotalEnergies CHAN goal in 12 years on Saturday, January 14. The forward’s lone goal earned a win against a gritty Cote D’Ivoire side in the second group B fixture of the 2022 TotalEnergies African Nations championship in Algeria.
The encounter at the 1956 Stadium in Annaba between eternal West African rivals, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal was a very entertaining affair chaired by over 20000 fans.
Senegal were the better side in the opening moments of the game as they pushed the Ivorians deep into their half of the pitch and won the first corner barely seven minutes into the jellof confrontation.
Against the run of play and in the 12th minute, Sankara William Karamoko of the home based Elephants forced the first save of the game off Pape Sy who was on goal for Senegal ahead of 2021 AFCON winner Alioune Badara in one of the strange moves from ex international cum coach Pape Thiaw.
Charles Ayissi keeping goal for Cote D’Ivoire was called to action at the 37th minute as he made save from Kanye’s effort and a timely intervention for his country again 30 seconds later to keep the score at 0-0.
The rhythm of the game slowed down as both sides try to find out each other in the freezing temperatures on the night losing wasn’t a good option.
Abdramane Konate of the Cote D’Ivoire hit the woodwork with his country’s best forward move just before the break, this after sliding past the Senegalese defense.
Moussa Kante was lucky to be shown only a yellow card after his stray high boots brushed Konate on the knee.
It remained goalless till the break the interval though very entertaining and promising more.
Ivorian defender Moise Gbai gave away a penalty in the 68th minute, when his headed clearance came off his hands. The Referee pointed to the spot, to give Senegal the chance to take the lead from the penalty. Unfortunately for young Lamine Camara he stepped and played the ball to the right of Ayissi Charles. The keeper made his body bigger, stretched out and saved. Senegal’s wait for a first CHAN goal in 12 years continued.
Substitute Moussa Ndiaye finally put the ball in the back of the net in the 78th minute. It took a long VAR check from Algerian Referee Loufti Berkouassa, before deciding it was a goal for the Local Teranga Lions of Senegal.
There was still time for last chance from which Ayissi made another save in the dying moments of the match to deny Senegal a second goal.
Cheikh Diouf put the ball in the back of the net in the fourth minute of added time. However, this time around, it was chalked off after onfield VAR review showed the Senegalese substitute toe poked from an offside position.
The game ended on a 1-0 score for the Teranga Lions who return to the CHAN in style. Senegal starts with a win as it was during last participation in 2011 where they beat Rwanda 2-0 from the off but unfortunately crashed out in the group stage.
📹 Match Highlights: 🇨🇮 0-1 🇸🇳
— CAF (@CAF_Online) January 15, 2023
Despite missing a penalty, exciting Senegalese midfielder Lamine Camara who was lively all night was voted TotalEnergies man of the match ahead of Ayissi Charles. The Ivorian goalkeeper made three great saves including saving a penalty, but Lamine outshined him per the decision of the Mark Fish related CAF technical study group in charge of the Man of the Match at Annaba.
Senegalese capital Dakar was a happy place all night as they partied while waiting for the next Senegal fixture on Wednesday. It is an important date with Uganda Cranes who played goalless against unconvincing DR Congo in the early kick-off at the 19 May 1956 Stadium.
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