Senegal Books Ticket to World Cup Russia


Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Diafra Sakho of West Ham United played key roles as Senegal reached the World Cup for the first time in 16 years after defeating South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane on Friday to qualify for the tournament in Russian Federation next year.

With their World Cup qualification dream over, Safa will now wait a report-back from coach Stuart Baxter.

The Téranga Lions dominated the Bafana Bafana with two goals from Diafara Sakho, in the 12th minute and Thamsanqa Mkhize against his own goal after a duel with Sadio Mané.

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Friday's match was a replay of an earlier World Cup qualifier between the two nations that was characterised by match-fixing allegations.

Mane played 90 minutes as Senegal topped CAF group D as a result of the away win in Polokwane, a fixture that had to be replayed after the referee who took charge of the controversial first one in 2016 was later banned from football over corruption charges. Bottom-of-the-table South Africa lie seven ponts behind Senegal ahead of a return match in Dakar next Tuesday, with Burkina Faso hosting Cape Verde at the same time. Senegal joins Nigeria and Egypt who have already qualified. The former midfielder will be hoping he can inspire the team to achieve similarly superlative heights next year in Russian Federation. On Saturday; Tunisia could qualify if they secure a point against Libya, whiles Morocco and Ivory Coast play for the fifth and final slot same day.

The home side might have equalised midway through the first half when Themba Zwane's shot was only parried by Senegal keeper Khadim N'Diaye, and Percy Tau turned home the rebound.