Chelsea's Mendy: Senegal ‘felt robbed in Egypt' during World Cup qualifier

Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.BackpagePix.

Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has claimed Senegal felt they were robbed against Egypt in their World Cup qualifier’s first leg duel in Cairo.

The Pharaohs hosted the Teranga Lions and won 1-0, but the Blues goalkeeper believes the video assistant referee, which was not working, worked against them.

"The game we played in Cairo was very difficult, we were disappointed after the first-leg defeat," Mendy said, as quoted by KingFut.

"VAR wasn’t working and we felt we were robbed."

In the return leg, Senegal fought back and scored an early goal that pushed the game to extra time and the West Africans emerged 3-1 winners from the post-match penalty shootout.

"We were disappointed when we arrived in Senegal, but the fans supported us and they gave us the motive," added the shot-stopper.

"In the second leg, we scored an early goal, and it was a memorable night. It was magical."

After the loss, Egypt were not satisfied as they raised concerns that the match was held in a concerning environment and went ahead to ask for a replay.

Gamal Allam, the head of the Egyptian FA, then said Mohamed Salah was the target of Senegalese fans as the Liverpool forward was the focus of disrupting fans.

The World Cup qualifier was the second meeting in short succession between the African rivals after they had met in the Africa Cup of Nations final in Cameroon earlier in February, where Senegal also won via a shootout. Mendy was satisfied with their journey in the continental competition despite the challenges they faced.

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"We were the best team in the tournament. We started our journey with ten Covid-19 cases in our ranks, but we overcame the difficulties," he concluded.

On Friday, Mendy was named in the Senegal squad that will face Benin and Rwanda in the upcoming qualifiers for the 2023 Afcon finals to be held in Ivory Coast.

Meanwhile, the Teranga Lions, Tunisia, Morocco, Cameroon, and Ghana will represent Africa in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.