Sebastien Haller helps Ivory Coast reach AFCON quarterfinals on return from injury

Sebastien Haller
Sebastien Haller / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/GettyImages

Sebastien Haller marked his return from injury by coming off the bench and scoring a crucial spot-kick for Ivory Coast, as they defeated Senegal on penalties to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals.

An ankle injury suffered during Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga clash against Mainz before the winter break forced Sebastien Haller to miss the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations. Hosts Ivory Coast qualified for the knockout stage despite finishing third in their group, and they stunned Senegal on Monday to continue their run at the tournament.

Ivory Coast fell behind in the round of 16 tie after just four minutes, with Habib Diallo giving Senegal the lead. But a spot-kick was awarded to Ivory Coast in the 86th minute, and Franck Kessié stepped up to equalise and take the game to extra time.

A breathtaking penalty shootout ensued after the two teams could not be separated in extra time. And it was Ivory Coast who clinched the 5-4 win, with all five of their penalty takers finding the back of the net. Sebastien Haller took the third penalty and showed great composure to find the corner of the net, leaving Senegal goalkeeper Édouard Mendy with no chance of saving it.

A quarterfinal clash against one of Mali and Burkina Faso now awaits Ivory Coast, as they look to try and win their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 2015. The tie will take place on February 3, with Haller likely to be in contention for a spot in the starting XI.