Senegal, the reigning champions, are eliminated from AFCON

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The Teranga Lions of Senegal exited the African Cup of Nations after a dramatic penalty shootout loss, with Ivory Coast emerging victorious 5-4. Despite a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, Senegal’s Moussa Niakhate’s unfortunate penalty miss allowed the Ivorians to advance.

Senegal’s early lead came through Habib Diallo’s goal after four minutes, but Ivory Coast, led by substitute Franck Kessie, equalized with a late penalty.

The shootout heroics of Kessie secured The Elephants’ spot in the quarter-finals.

Despite a recent 4-0 loss, Ivory Coast’s home support remained strong.

French coach Jean-Louis Gasset was replaced by assistant Emerse Fae after the defeat to Equatorial Guinea.

The West African clash featured Senegal, dominant in the group stage, against Ivory Coast, who advanced as one of the third-best teams.

Senegal won Group D with nine points, while Ivory Coast secured the last quarter-final spot with three points and a negative goal difference.

Fae made strategic changes to Ivory Coast’s lineup, while Senegal altered their starting XI. Despite Senegal’s early lead, Ivory Coast gradually gained control, facing a resilient defense.

The defending champions couldn’t capitalize on their chances in the first half.

As the match intensified, Ivory Coast had more possession, but Senegal appeared dangerous.

A pivotal moment came in the 86th minute when Mendy’s foul led to a VAR-reviewed penalty, converted by Kessie.

The game extended to extra time, with both teams having opportunities, but Ivory Coast secured victory.

Notably, the introduction of Sebastien Haller and Mane’s efforts couldn’t alter the outcome.

The thrilling encounter showcased the resilience of both teams in this African football showdown.

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