Senegal closer to a fourth consecutive title
Senegal took an important step towards revalidating the title, after beating hosts 3-2 in the second semi-final of the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations Mozambique 2022.
Nelson (10'and 21') scored the double for Mozambique, while Souleymane Coly (1-2) and Babacar Fall (2-2) equalised for the Senegalese, with Mamadou Sylla scoring the third goal.
The Lions of Teranga will face Egypt at 3.30pm (local time), in the final on Friday. The Pharaohs beat Morocco 5-4 in the other semi-final. This will be the first time Egypt has yet to lift the coveted trophy. This will also be the replay of the final disputed between Egypt and Senegal, in the COSAFA Cup, in preparation for the AFCON Beach Soccer. Senegal got the better of the Egyptians 5-4.
Meanwhile, in the third-place play-off, the hosts clash with the Moroccans, also on Friday, when it is 2.00pm (local time).
Uganda ended the tournament with a creditable fifth place in the overall standings after beating their Malawian counterparts 4-1 today in a penalty shootout after 6-6 in extra time.
This match was about qualifying the fifth and sixth places of the competition. A format introduced to allow the teams to play as many matches as possible.
It was a dramatic and intense match from start to finish. In the group stage, the Ugandans were knocked out of the title race by the Pharaohs, while Malawi fell at the feet of Morocco.
This was the third meeting between Mozambique and Senegal. The first was in the final held in May, where Mozambique lost 5-4.
The second, in September this year, where the Mozambicans faced the Senegalese and lost, by 5-4, in a game inserted in the COSAFA-2022 Cup, held in September in Durban, South Africa.
The Senegalese arrived in Vilankulo as three-time champions, having won in 2016, 2018 and 2021. To reach the AFCON, they eliminated Cameroon by a 16-4 aggregate after winning, 7-3, at home and 9-1, away.
Senegal have several world-class players, including defender Ninou Diatta, who scored 12 goals at last October's World Cup in Russia, and centre-backs Laye Mandione and Raoul Mendy, who both scored ten goals each at the same tournament.
What they said
Mozambique coach Abineiro Ussaca
“We'd read the lesson well but, at some point, emotion got the better of the players. We committed unnecessary fouls in dangerous areas and that was crucial for Senegal to win the match. However, in high-pressure matches it's normal for similar situations to happen. Senegal is a better team than us. They have five players that are in the top ten of the world. We have to hold our heads up high and keep working to reach a better level than the current one” .
Mamadou Diallo, Senegal coach
“We did. It was a very difficult match and it was not easy. I am glad we made it. It was not easy because when you play with Mozambique the organizer of this tournament, and they never organized something from FIFA, is their first time to do it, and they wanted to win and for us I knew it would be very difficult and I prepared my plays and told them it would be difficult for the players, for the federation”.