The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) ends today! The tournament started with 24 nations, now only Senegal and Egypt remain. Who will be the 2021 AFCON champions?
The final is set between pre-tournament favorites Senegal, and seven-time champions Egypt. The game will be an exciting one as both teams have shown different ways of playing the game. Senegal has dominated their opposition winning four and drawing two games in the tournament, while scoring nine goals and only letting in two. Egypt likes to play defensive and looks to strike on counter attacks; this has lead them to only scoring four times in six games, but was good enough to get them to the final. Let’s look at the roads each nation took to get within touching distance of the glory.
Senegal vs Egypt
Senegal was the winners of their group in the group stage . They controlled all three of those games, but didn’t score that much at all. Even though they only scored once in the group stage their results gave them five points and they progressed to the knockout rounds. In those rounds they found their scoring touch; Senegal beat Cape Verde 2-0, Equatorial Guienea 3-1, and Burkina Faso 3-1 to make it to the final. Will the dominearing style that Senegal plays with carry them to their first ever AFCON victory?
Egypt was able to get through their group as the runners up. Their style of defending first and hitting teams in transition meant that Egypt has stayed close in every game they’ve played. This was proven to be enough to get them through the knockout rounds and to the final. They outlast Ivory Coast 5-4 in a penalty shootout, beat Morroco 2-1, and knocked out the hosts Cameroon in anot her penalty shootout 3-1. Will Egypt’s immobavble object style be able to stop Senegals unstoppable object style in the 2021 AFCON final?
Cameroon takes third place
Before we take a closer look at which will prevail, the teams that lost in the semifinals duked it out for a third place finish at the games. Hosts Cameroon were heartbroken to lose on penalties in the semifinals, they played a rematch of a Group A match against Burkina Faso, and it looked as if things wouldn’t go well for the hosts.
Burkina Faso scored the games first three goals. They were up 3-0 with 40 minutes still to play in the match, while many would have thought all hope was lost for Cameroon, they fought back scoring goals in the 71st, 85th, and 87th minute. The match would need to be settled in a penalty shootout, and this time the hosts were able to convert their penalties.
Cameroon made all five attempts, while Burkina Faso missed their third; the hosts won 5-3 on penalties, and took home the third place spot. It was a fun and open match for the bronze medal, and will hopefully be the warmup for an even more exciting final between Senegal and Egypt.
Who will be the champions of Africa?
The AFCON 2021 final between pits the a nation looking for its first ever AFCON title, Senegal, against the nation with the most AFCON wins, Egypt. Senegal were pre-tournament favorites; Egypt were seen as underdogs to make the final. Senegal play like an unstoppable force; Egypt play like an immovable object. Who will come out on top?
Senegal has played beautiful soccer throughout the tournament, and look like a team that can be contained for some, but not an entire match. Egypt has it’s style mastered, and has frustrated their opposition with their defending and lethal counter attacks. The leaders of both teams are Liverpool FC players Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. Each will be leading the lines for their countries to become champions.
So who has the upper hand? It would seem that Senegal does. They are the better team on paper, and has yet to be shutout in this tournament. Egypt has put on a masterful display of defend and counter soccer, but they have shown that they can be beaten by teams that can breakdown their defense in this tournament. If Senegal can control the game get their chances on goal, then they should be able to find a goal that could win them AFCON 2021; however the longer the game stays 0-0 the better Egypt will feel and play!
The match kicks off today at 2pm EST. In the United States the game will be broadcasted on BeIn Sports. If you have it tune in, if not, look to social media for updates and tracking of the match. Don’t miss out on this action to see who will be champions of Africa.
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