Sadio Mane netted the winning spot-kick as Senegal beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties to clinch their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title after a goalless 120 minutes of intense action.
The Teranga Lions controlled proceedings from the blast of the whistle but were not clinical in front of goal, while the Pharaohs defended deep and relied on the pace and trickery of Mo Salah on the break.
Senegal had the opportunity to take the lead in the opening stages when they were awarded a penalty, but Mane saw his tame penalty saved by Gabaski.
After 90 minutes and 30 minutes of extra time, the game went to penalties to decide the winner of the 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations.
All four of Egypt’s knockout games at the tournament went the distance, and the North Africans had beaten Ivory Coast and host Cameroon on spot-kicks en route to the final, so were optimistic of securing the win.
Prior to Sunday’s final, Gabaski had saved four penalties at the tournament but on this occasion the 33-year-old was not able to emerge on the winning side.
Egypt were the first to err as centre-back Mohamed Abdelmonem saw his penalty strike the upright but Gabaski immediately denied Bouna Sarr.
However, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy denied Mohanad Lasheen to give Mane the chance to win it in Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium.
The Senegal star made no mistake this time around with an emphatic finish into the bottom left-hand corner, despite Gabaski guessing right.
Senegal had previously lost two Nations Cup finals, finishing runners-up in 2002 and 2019 to Cameroon and Algeria respectively.
The two sides will meet again in March in a two-legged play-off for a spot at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Monday declared a public holiday to celebrate the national football team’s first-ever African Cup of Nations crown following their victory against Egypt.
Sall, who had been due to visit Comoros at the end of a trip that took in Egypt and Ethiopia, cancelled the last leg in order to welcome the triumphant Lions on their return to Dakar at 1300 GMT Monday, RTS said.