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Sakho, Mane star as Senegal book World Cup slot

13 November, 2017, 02:40 | Author: John Swanson
  • File Itumeleng Khune of South Africa during a training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium Polokwane. Credit BackpagePix

Liverpool are reportedly hopeful that star forward Sadio Mane will return to Merseyside from worldwide duty early after Senegal's win over South Africa on Friday night sealed the country's World Cup qualification and ensured their final game in meaningless.

According to Federation Internationale de Football Association website, Diafra Sakho scored the opener for the visitors in Polokwane, before a somewhat fortuitous Thamsanqa Mkhize own goal sealed the three points for the Lions of Teranga.

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The result eliminates South Africa as well as Burkina Faso and Cape Verde, while Senegal qualify for their first finals since 2002 and will appear at the global showpiece tournament for just the second time in their history after an early strike from Diafra Sakho and an unfortunate own goal from Thamsanqa Mkhize. Two achievements that were enough for Aliou Cissé's men to win this match who have lost in November 2016 because of a poor referee decision. The other two slots will be filled Saturday with north African countries Tunisia and Morocco needing draws to qualify.

Senegal are set to play South Africa again on Tuesday in a game that will be a mere formality and Liverpool will be hoping that Mane will be released before then so that he can avoid risking injury. The Hammers striker calmly put Mane's assist into the back of the net in the 12th minute.

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Goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye failed to grasp a fierce close-range Themba Zwane shot, but recovered to catch the rebound after the ball struck inrushing Percy Tau.

The Senegalese Teranga Lions doubled their lead after 38 minutes against the run of play with another goal involving Sakho and Mane.

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South Africa introduced midfielders Andile Jali and Siphiwe Tshabalala midway through the second half, but neither made an impact.

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