Senegal end 10-year wait with TotalEnergies WAFCON return


Senegal will make a return for the first time since 2012 to the TotalEnergies Women's Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2022, following a 3-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Mali at Stade Modibo Keita in Bamako on Tuesday.

Cruising from a 1-0 first leg win at Stade Lat-Dior last Wednesday, the Senegalese were hoping to upset the odds in guaranteeing their WAFCON qualification while the Malians set sights on bouncing back on their home ground.

The all West Africans rematch started off on a bright note for the hosts as they made early attacking threats until Aguissa Diarra fired home from the edge of the box to put the home side in front 13 minutes into the encounter.

Having emerged from the tunnel with 1-0 up, the home side met a totally resurgent visitors, who were gifted a chance to level from the spot but Ndeye Awa Diakhate failed to convert the resulting penalty on the hour mark.

In the last 15 minutes, the Malians bombarded the visitors through their attack led by Aissata Traore and Bassira Toure but resolute Senegalese held on to force the doubleheader to be decided on penalties, with 1-1 tie on aggregate.

In the shoot-out rounds, the hosts missed thrice from the spot as the visitors converted thrice to confirm their return to the WAFCON after 10 years of absence from the continent's showpiece.

On the other hand, the shoot-out defeat means the Eagles of Mali will miss a chance to make an eighth WAFCON appearance and also had their maiden FIFA Women's World Cup dream dashed by their West African rivals.

What they said

Mame Moussa Cissé, Senegal coach

It is a great pride and a lot of satisfaction to have succeeded to qualify for the finals of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations, it is something that we have been waiting for 10 years. It must be said that it stems from a long process, we have worked with this group for four years, the Federation has put a lot of resources into enabling the women's team to succeed. In fact, for this campaign, we started on May 17. We must congratulate the girls who achieved this result in front of a great Malian team. But our girls fought with selflessness and bravery, having in mind the desire to make history, they wrote a beautiful page for women's football.