We don't expect there'll be a wilder finish to a World Cup qualifier than what happened in Dakar tonight for the second leg of the Senegal v Egypt tie.
The qualifier was a rematch of the African Cup of Nations final, which was also decided by penalties.
Egypt seemed to extract some revenge for that result, winning 1-0 at the weekend in Cairo thanks to a Saliou Ciss own goal.
However tonight in Dakar, Boulaye Dia scored in the third minute for Senegal and the match then ended up in penalties after a negative Egyptian side achieved a stalemate.
Boulaye Dia goal ⚽
The Villarreal forward stabs home a loose ball in the box to give the Lions of Teranga the lead 💪
Senegal 1-0 Egypt https://t.co/kJZWiutV7d
— Birdiefootball (@birdiefootball) March 29, 2022
Things got even stranger when the first four penalties were missed - including one by Mo Salah, who took Egypt's first penalty. (Interestingly, Salah never got to take a penalty in the AFCON final as he was lined up to take Egypt's fifth penalty.)
However, Senegal scored their final three penalties and Edouard Mendy - who is not noted as a great stopper of penalties - saved a penalty from Mostafa Mohamed.
Sadio Mané - just as he did in Cameroon - then won the match with his final penalty, sending his country to the World Cup and the tens of thousands of laser-wielding fans into bedlam.
— Avishek Gupta (@bald_logician) March 29, 2022
Senegal's supporters played the role of the 12th man to an impressive degree. They bathed Egypt's players in green lasers throughout the match. This had to have affected Egypt, especially during the penalties.
Mohamed Salah before his penalty miss against Senegal. pic.twitter.com/szlmfxDJkN
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2022
SALAH MISSES THE PENALTY 😂😂 https://t.co/fzgQJU2JXH
— ِ (@Asensii20) March 29, 2022
— Barry Kenny 🇺🇦 (@barrykenny) March 29, 2022
Here's footage reportedly from the stadium of a fan pointing a laser.
Senegal v Egypt lasers
Egypt vs Senegal highlights: pic.twitter.com/wzM2ctxjKO
— Castro1021 (@Castro1021) March 29, 2022
Salah joins Erling Haaland and Chiedozie Ogbene on the list of elite global footballers who won't be in Qatar this winter. Qualifying for the World Cup is absolutely brutal for African countries, with only five spots available and unseeded qualifier draw. Senegal won't mind though, they're heading back to the World Cup.