Senegal star Lamine Camara was inconsolable following his country’s round of 16 defeat to Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations. The midfielder had to be carried down the tunnel and to the dressing room by his team-mate Cheikhou Kouyate as emotions took over after a penalty shootout loss.
Senegal took the lead through Al Shabab star Habib Diallo after just four minutes in Yamoussoukro to put themselves on course to break the curse of AFCON’s reigning champions failing to reach the last eight since 2010.
Ivory Coast responded well in the second half and dominated proceedings, missing several key chances to level the match. The home nation were then thrown a lifeline in the 85th minute when Nicolas Pepe was brought down by ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy inside the penalty area.
Franck Kessie converted from the spot to take the game to extra time, and then penalties. Kessie was the hero again for Ivory Coast, scoring the decisive spot-kick after Nottingham Forest defender Moussa Niakhate saw his effort hit the post.
The home crowd were sent into a frenzy after Kessie slotted his spot-kick past Mendy. But by contrast, the Senegal players were distraught with the result having headed into the tournament as one of the favourites.
Metz midfielder Camara was among those that was visibly upset, so much so that he struggled to even walk by himself because of his tears.
The 20-year-old left the pitch with a towel over his face to try and hide his tears and was seen walking gingerly, prompting ex-Crystal Palace defender Kouyate – who was an unused substitute for the match – to scoop him up. The Forest star lifted Camara up and carried him away from the pitch and down the tunnel to take him out of sight of the celebrating home supporters.
The devastating nature of the defeat will live long in the memory of Camara, who broke into the national team last year following his impressive performances for Senegalese outfit Generation Foot. His displays soon captured the attention of Metz and he has made 17 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit so far this season, prompting speculation that he could be on the move once again soon with top European clubs monitoring his situation closely.