Senegal beat Tunisia in drama-filled semifinal to book AFCON final spot
Senegal beat Tunisia in drama-filled semifinal to book AFCON final spot

Senegal beat Tunisia in drama-filled semifinal to book AFCON final spot

Senegal are through to the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 17 years, after beating Tunisia 1-0 in extra time in the first semifinal of the day. 

The Lions of Teranga needed an extra time own goal from Dylan Bronn to see off a stubborn Tunisia, in a match that had two penalty saves in regulation time. 

Senegal started as the better side and were all over the Carthage Eagles in the opening couple of minutes, where they pushed them and got two corners in the first 10 minutes. 

Drab 1st half

However, the real chance of the half came on the 27th minute when Youssouf Sabaly came so close, wrapping his foot around a curling effort which went off the woodwork.

Tunisia's penalty shout on the half-hour mark was waved away, Kouyate fortunate to escape as he muscled Yassine Khenissi to the ground in the Senegal box.

The Tunisian defense was keen on keeping Sadio Mane quiet and succeeded as they neutralized his threat in the opening half. 

The Liverpool forward, however, got a chance on the 39th minute, after bursting clear before rounding off the keeper, but lost his balance as he tried to pick out the empty net before the defensive cover arrived.

Changed 2nd half

Tunisia came back for the second half a totally changed side and took the game to Senegal as they tried to pin the West African side back with good pressing. 

The first real chance of the second half fell to the Tunisians, with Khenissi missing a clear opportunity after he was put clean through on goal again, with his first touch letting him down, allowing Gomis to sneak out and smother the danger.

Missed penalties

The Carthage Eagles got the chance to take the lead when Koulibaly handled the ball inside the box, only for Sassi to weakly hit it and giving Gomis an easy opportunity to save it. 

Three minutes later and on the other end of the pitch, Senegal were awarded a penalty of their own, after Sarr was felled by Bronn's outstretched leg, but Saivet's shot was brilliantly saved by the keeper. 

There was little action in the last minutes, as the match ended with both sides tied at 0-0. 

The two sides resumed extra time in a cautious manner, as they tried to avoid mistakes.

Senegal lead

It was, however, Senegal who took the lead on the 100th minute of extra time, this time Bronn, who conceded a penalty earlier sinking the ball into his own net after a poor corner clearance. 

Tunisia thought they had the chance to equalize when Gueye handled the ball inside the box, but after a VAR review, the penalty decision was overruled. 

Senegal held on for the precious victory and make the final for the first time in almost two decades. 

Read more: Senegal vs Tunisia: Mane leads the Lions against the Eagles

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