ThisIn the shootout in the African Nations Cup final against Egypt, Senegal’s fourth kick was put into the net by Sadio Mane, one of their all – time greats.
The eyes of their coach, Alio Cisse, were slightly wet as the Senegalese players celebrated the crowning achievement. After such a penalty shootout 20 years ago, the former Senegalese star has a story to tell about the country’s villains.
Today, Cisse is leading the team to the title, disguising himself as the villain of the day and in the guise of a hero. But Ciss could not erase that memory from the February 13, 2002 African Nations final against Cameroon.
The match ended in a 0-0 draw against Cameroon in regulation time and extra time, with the game extending into a penalty shootout to decide the winner. For Senegal, Ferdinand Alexandre Collie and Khalio Fadiga scored from the penalty spot, while Sisse also missed kicks, along with Mustafa Faye and El Hadi Diouf. Members of the Senegalese team could only watch Cameron celebrate his victory that day.
The fall comes after a stunning performance in the 2002 World Cup, which included France. Indian fans liken Sisse to the character played by Shah Rukh Khan alias Kabir Khan in ‘Chak De India’, who later regained his lost status as a coach.
Sisse, who captained Senegal in the 2002 World Cup, raised his head and lost to Turkey in the quarterfinals. In the ensuing African Nations Cup, it was confirmed that Senegal would win the title together. But the team was destined to return with tears in the final.
Later in 2015, Sisse was appointed coach of the Senegalese national team. Despite qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in 2018, for the first time in history, Senegal were ruled out due to misfortune under the ‘Fair Play tie-breaker’ rule.
Then in 2019, Senegal reached the final of the African Nations Cup. Their first final since 2002. But this time, too, misfortune followed Sisse and Senegal. They lost 1-0 in the final against Algeria. Finally, in 2022, the team with the last smile, Sisse and Sadio Mane, has been acquired.
Sissy now has the advantage of missing out on a penalty loss 20 years ago. He goes on to say that there are super coaches in Africa as well.
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