Camara was visibly upset and was gingerly walking off the pitch as he struggled to hold back the tears. The 20-year-old even had a towel over his face, which prompted Forest star Kouyate – who was an unused substitute in the game – to scoop up his team-mate and carry him down the tunnel in a heartwarming gesture.
Senegal, the reigning AFCON champions, started the match well and went ahead within four minutes through Al-Shabab star Habib Diallo.
Ivory Coast – who sacked boss Jean-Louis Gasset after the group stage before sneaking through as one of the best third-placed teams – responded well, before Franck Kessie equalised late on from the spot after Nicolas Pepe was fouled by Edouard Mendy.
The clash went all the way to penalties, with Kessie netting the decisive spot kick after Nottingham Forest defender Moussa Niakhate struck the post as the tournament hosts won 5-4.
And, following the game, Camara – who had played 87 minutes before being replaced by Idrissa Gana Gueye – was one of several Senegal players who were distraught with the result.
Understandably, this was his first AFCON and he emerged best young player in the group stage. He has also won some laurels at the U-20 Continental stage and doing well in the French Ligue 1.
I hope he gets better quickly and learn defeat only strengthens you for victories ahead. I also hope the team psychologist helps him to understand life is all about winning some and losing some others.
The young man got exposed to winning early in life, he must also get to taste the other side to become stronger.
Author: Andrew Collins