Egypt suffered a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat against Senegal in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final.
Following a tense 120 minutes of football, the match – and the tournament itself – was eventually decided on penalties.
Senegal won the shoot-out 4-2, with Sadio Mane firing home the winning penalty. His Liverpool teammate, Mohamed Salah, was presumably set to take Egypt’s fifth spot-kick but didn’t have the opportunity.
After the match, Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski’s water bottle was found near the goal where the penalties were taken.
The water bottle was covered in small pieces of paper with an incredible amount of detail about each Senegal player’s penalty technique.
Here’s a video of the water bottle:
Egypt goalkeeper Gabaski forgot his bottle after the defeat. Info on Senegal's penalty takers.— Saddick Adams (@SaddickAdams) February 7, 2022
This should go straight to CAF Museum if they have. pic.twitter.com/e1LMbZPTUm
As you can see from the footage, every Senegal player was assigned their own individual note showing where they’ve struck their penalties and whether or not each of those spot-kick was successfully converted.
We’ve seen similar tactics used before – by England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, for example – but not in this amount of detail.
How close did Gabaski get to saving Senegal’s penalties?
But how close was Gabaski (real name Mohamed Abou Gabal) from saving each penalty? Let’s take a look:
Kalidou Koulibaly’s penalty
Gabaski correctly dived low to his right and got a touch on the ball but was unable to prevent Koulibaly’s penalty finding the back of the net.
Abdou Diallo’s penalty
Egypt’s goalkeeper again went the right way but Diallo managed to find the bottom corner.
Bouna Sarr’s penalty
Gabaski made the save.
Bamba Dieng’s penalty
This was the only Senegal penalty that Gabaski dived the wrong way for.
Sadio Mane’s penalty
Gabaski had already made a tremendous penalty save from Mane earlier in the match but he was unable to stop Senegal’s star man from finding the back of the net, despite diving the correct way.
As you can see, Gabaski’s homework very nearly paid off.
Egypt may have lost but their goalkeeper gave his side the best possible chance of winning the shoot-out with his remarkable preparation.
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