Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Mane stars as Senegal beat South Africa to confirm World Cup berth

Mane stars as Senegal beat South Africa to confirm World Cup berth

South Africa has lost 2-0 to Senegal, ending their hopes of qualifying for Russian Federation 2018 World Cup.

Senegal has qualified for the World Cup in Russian Federation, seizing the second chance it was given by FIFA to beat South Africa 2-0 in a replay of a game it lost previous year.

The win took Senegal to an unassailable 11 points after five games, while South Africa remain rooted at the bottom on four points.

The two teams played a year ago on 12 November at the same venue and Bafana Bafana won 2-1, but it was later revealed the Ghanaian referee who officiated the match was biased, to which Federation Internationale de Football Association reacted by suspending him after he was found guilty of unduly influencing the results of the match.

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I had Gareth for three years in Under-21s, so it wasn't too much of a new thing coming here. It seemed a bit messy with loads of pull outs, but it's been really tight.

Going into the game, South Africa needed an outright win to give hope to their slim chance of making it to Russian Federation.

Senegal join Nigeria and Egypt as qualifiers for the 2018 tournament from Africa, so far.

Mane had been an injury doubt for the qualifier up until last week when he made an quicker-than-expected recovery from a hamstring injury to return for his club Liverpool in Saturday's Premier League win over West Ham United. Either Tunisia or Congo and Morocco or Ivory Coast will make up the contingent in Russian Federation.

His shot was saved by South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune but rebounded off the head of the stumbling Mkhize to roll back in the opposite direction for an unfortunate own goal.

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Lebogang Manyama, Percy Tau, Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi failed to put the finishing touches to their lovely interplays.

South Africa dominated ball possession from the get go in the second half, but came up against a Senegal unit happy to sit deep and absorb pressure. Despite the seemingly traditionally good results at the upcoming mundiale in Russian Federation, the national team of South Africa we will not see.

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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