Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Liverpool's Sadio Mane stars as Senegal book World Cup 2018 slot

Liverpool's Sadio Mane stars as Senegal book World Cup 2018 slot

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.

The victory in Polokwane gave the "Teranga Lions" an unassailable lead at the top of Group D and with that their second appearance at the tournament.

South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last November, but Federation Internationale de Football Association ordered a replay because of "match manipulation" by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who was banned for life.

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"No one said if you don't qualify for the World Cup, then you may as well pack up and go and no one said if you don't qualify for Afcon you may as well pack up and go", said Baxter after the Senegal game.

Though Senegal will still host South Africa in their final qualification match on Tuesday in Dakar, it would not reflect affect Senegal's qualification as they have already opened a five-point gap in the group. 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 victory gives Senegal an insurmountable five-point lead atop CAF qualifying Group D, ensuring their place in Russian Federation alongside already-qualified Egypt and Nigeria.

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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.

Sakho broke clear and crossed to Mane, whose shot was blocked by Khune only for the clearance to hit Mkhize and trickled back into the net.

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