Senegal defeated the Pharaohs on penalties in the final round of World Cup qualifying on Tuesday night to reach this winter’s tournament in Qatar. Mane struck the winning spot kick in the shootout to inflict further heartbreak on Egypt, having also converted the deciding penalty in February’s Africa Cup of Nations final.
This week’s hard-fought qualifier ended in somewhat controversial fashion as Salah and his teammates were targeted with lasers pointed at them by Senegal fans as they took their penalties. Home supporters also harassed Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy by throwing plastic bottles at him throughout the match, which Senegal won 1-0 to level the aggregate score.
Mane did not address the behaviour of his country’s fans in his interview after the match but admitted fortune was with Senegal in the AFCON final and their World Cup eliminator. “I won twice and he (Salah) lost twice, I was luckier to come out on top,” Mane told ONTime Sports, per KingFut. “I am very proud that we won the Africa Cup of Nations and now qualified for the World Cup, it’s a dream I had.
“I believe it was a difficult game for both teams. Our fans pushed us to win and we didn’t stop fighting. We knew the game wouldn’t be easy, but we pressed to score.” While Mane insists Senegal had luck on their side in their recent victories over Egypt, that was of little significance for Carlos Queiroz, who announced he would be stepping down as Pharaohs manager after just six months in the role.
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He wrote on Twitter : “Dream is Over. From the bottom of my heart, my gratitude to Egypt Federation for this honour of coaching the National Team. To all my players and my staff, my recognition and humble thank you so much. You will be always in my heart. It was my privilege to work and be helped by such dedicated and capable professionals and wonderful friends.
“Without you, nothing could be possible for me in my life. I am very much proud of you lads. My best wishes and enormous gratitude to all Egyptian fans. To the future.” Meanwhile, Mane shared a celebratory Instagram post showing the World Cup trophy and captioned it: “Qatar, I am coming with my Lions. See you soon. Incha’allah.” He and Salah will return to Liverpool this week ahead of their Premier League clash against Watford on Saturday.