Senegal won their first-ever African Cup of Nations on Sunday and the Senegalese people were out in their droves to celebrate.
Thousands lined the streets of Dakar to welcome home the victorious national team and revel in their achievements after their penalty shootout win over Egypt.
Having lost twice before in the final, and produced some big names in African football over the years, it had been a long time coming for the Senegalese.
Captain Kalidou Koulibaly walked out from the team plane to be greeted by Senegal President Macky Sall. The team then boarded a bus to parade around Dakar.
Most of the team actually spent most of the homecoming on top of the bus. Thankfully it was driving very slowly as Senegal fans swarmed it in the streets.
It was shades of Italia 90 in Dakar as 'Ole, ole, ole' rung out around the city and the jubilant scenes captured what a showcase in a big tournament meant to the locals.
Here were some of the incredible scenes from Senegal:
Highly recommend you watch Koulibaly’s Instagram Story in full, but here’s a sample of it. Senegal being welcomed back to Dakar by thousands and thousands. What a sport pic.twitter.com/gJysEz4P0j
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) February 8, 2022
— The Anfield Alert 🔔 (@TheAnfieldAlert) February 7, 2022
— Grace Mwelu (@Gmwelu) February 7, 2022
— KHALID KHAYR (@Khalidkhayr) February 8, 2022
#BREAKING #SENEGAL #AFRIQUE
🔴 SENEGAL: THOUSANDS WELCOME NATIONAL TEAM IN DAKAR FOLLOWING FIRST-EVER AFRICAN CUP OF NATIONS TITLE WIN!#BreakingNews #Video #Dakar #AFCON #AfricanCup #AfricanCupOfNation pic.twitter.com/3Q5lBRqrkL
— loveworld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) February 8, 2022
— Mike Madoda (@mikemadoda) February 8, 2022
Path To The Final
Senegal were the favoured team coming into this year's African Cup of Nations ahead of home team Cameroon and Egypt. Their squad on paper stood out as the strongest.
With the likes of Edouard Mendy in goal, Kalidou Koulibaly at the back, Idrissa Gueye in midfield, and Sadio Mané upfront - they had strength in all areas of the pitch.
It wasn't all plain sailing from their Group B encounters. Senegal sneaked through as top of the group - despite only winning one of their games in the group stages.
A 90+7 minute penalty from Sadio Mané was the difference between them topping the group and coming third. That late winner came in their first showing against Zimbabwe.
Senegal beat Cape Verde 2-0 in the Last 16 and overcame Equatorial Guinea in the quarter-finals 3-1, with goals from Crystal Palace's Cheikhou Kouyaté and Watford's Ismaïla Sarr.
Their knockout form carried over into the semi-finals with another 3-1 win over Burkina Faso. That set up a showdown with African Cup of Nations stronghold Egypt.
Despite the star power of Mohamed Salah in their attacking three, Egypt's performance in the final left a lot to be desired, as they were on the back foot for most of the game.
The game would eventually end up going to extra time and penalties. Liverpool's Sadio Mané scored the winning penalty to mark their first-ever tournament win.