Shock as Senegal crash out of AFCON after losing on penalties to Cote D’Ivoire

Hosts Cote D’Ivoire have taken a dramatic turn to their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign after knocking out defending champions, Senegal on Monday.

The Round of 16 tie which ended 1-1 (aet) went into penalties with Cote D’Ivoire edging out Senegal 5-4.

Cote D’Ivoire will now progress into the last eight where they will square off with tournament wonder, Cape Verde.

Kessie was the shootout hero, converting the decisive kick after Moussa Niakhate had struck the post with the third Senegalese penalty.

Senegal became the seventh consecutive holders to fall victim to a Cup of Nations curse — no team since Egypt in 2008 have been able to take a title defence beyond the round of 16.

A humiliating 4-0 loss to Equatorial Guinea last Monday did not dampen support for the host nation with supporters queueing from the middle of the night to buy tickets in the central city.

French coach Jean-Louis Gasset was fired after the record home loss and, after failing in an attempt to bring back former coach Herve Renard, the Elephants promoted assistant Emerse Fae.

The west African showdown pitted the most and least impressive of the 16 qualifiers from the group stage against each other.

Senegal comfortably beat the Gambia, Cameroon and Guinea to top Group D, and were the only section winners to progress having secured a maximum nine points.

Cote D’Ivoire managed only three points after also losing to Nigeria and had a minus-three goal difference, but still squeezed through as the last of the four best third-placed countries.

Fae made five changes to the team that kicked off against Equatorial Guinea, promoting Serge Aurier, Odilon Kossounou, Jean Michael Seri, Max-Alain Gradel and Jean-Philippe Krasso.

Despite defeating Guinea 2-0 in their last group game, Senegal changed three of that starting line-up with Moussa Niakhate, Abdou Diallo and Lamine Camara coming in.

The last thing mentally brittle Cote D’Ivoire wanted to happen was conceding an early goal, but within four minutes they were a goal behind as Habib Diallo scored his second of this AFCON.

Sadio Mane crossed and Diallo controlled the ball with his chest before unleashing a rising shot past goalkeeper Youssef Fofana.

Mane was yellow-carded by the Gabonese referee five minutes later after a reckless tackle on Ibrahim Sangare, who resumed after treatment on and off the field.


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