Senegalese forward, Sadio Mane has explained how his mind games against Liverpool teammate Mohammed Salah and Egypt’s goalkeeper, Gabaski backfired in the final of the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The two Liverpool stars faced off in the final of the just ended AFCON as Senegal defeated Egypt on penalty shootouts to win their first ever AFCON trophy.
In the opening minutes of the final, Senegal was awarded a penalty after Mohamed Abdelmonem brought down Saliou Ciss in the box. Before Sadio Mane took the kick, Mohammed Salah was seen in a conversation with Gabaski, seemly telling him where Sadio Mane would put his kick.
Sadio Mane who seem like a cat on a hot tin roof interrupted the conversation, signaling to Gabaski were he would put his kick. Lo and behold, Gabaski stayed calm and stopped Mane’s kick.
In a conversation with MBC Egypt, Gabaski disclosed that he saved Mane’s penalty thanks to the tip-off from Mohammed Salah.
“Salah told me: Mane would shoot to the right side, he is coming now because he knows what I am saying.’ “Mane said to me: ‘I will shoot on the left,’ then Salah replied ‘Let’s see,’” Gabaski said per MBC Egypt.
Recounting on the incident, Mane said: “I saw him [Salah] talking and I’m sure he was not saying anything else but just trying to play mind games,” he said in an interview with Que Golazo.
“I wanted to be more fun than him so I go: ‘Don’t worry Mo, I will put it on the right side. Tell him [Gabaski].’
“We were talking about it yesterday [they are both back at Liverpool] and we were laughing about it. It was quite funny.”
The two Liverpool stars will face-off once again in March for a place at the 2022 World Cup. The first leg will take place on Friday, March 25 at the Cairo Stadium and the second leg at the Diamniadio Olympic Stadium on Monday, March 29.