AFCON 2023: Hosts Ivory Coast knock out defending champions Senegal to reach quarterfinals


Frank Kessie scored the winning penalty as hosts Ivory Coast stunned defending champions Senegal 5-4 in post-match penalties after drawing 1-1 on Monday night.

The win saw Ivory Coast deliver a major upset in the dramatic penalty shootout.

After a disastrous group stage, the Ivorians resurrected their campaign under interim head coach Emerse Faé, securing a place in the quarterfinals and ending Senegal’s quest to retain the title.

The encounter began with Senegal taking an early lead, as Sadio Mané set up Habib Diallo to smash the ball into the net after just four minutes.

However, Ivory Coast, initially appearing under-confident, regrouped and dominated possession for most of the first half, creating a sense of anticipation among the home fans.

Senegal’s Mané found himself in the referee’s book for a robust tackle, sparking a moment of controversy. The second half witnessed opportunities for both sides, with Ivory Coast’s Fofana denying Ismaïla Sarr’s attempt and VAR dismissing Senegal’s penalty appeals.

The introduction of Sébastien Haller injected fresh energy into the Ivorian attack, leading to chances for Franck Kessié and Nicolas Pépé. With the scores level after 120 minutes, the game headed to a nerve-wracking penalty shootout.

Ivory Coast emerged victorious, sealing their progression to the quarterfinals as Moussa Niakhaté’s miss for Senegal struck the post.

Kessié, who had forced the game into extra time with his spot-kick, converted the winning penalty, securing a date with the winner of Mali and Burkina Faso in the next round.

Ivory Coast’s triumph leaves Senegal as the latest defending champions unable to advance to the quarterfinals since Egypt in 2010.

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