Sports

Senegal Book World Cup Ticket

Senegal Book World Cup Ticket

Senegal have marked a return to the World Cup after 16 years of absence after beating South Africa 2-0 away from home to book a ticket to Russian Federation 2018.

After a cagey opening 10 minutes from both teams, the Teranga Lions took the lead with their first attack on goal after Sadio Mane's defence-splitting pass left West Ham forward Diafra Sakho with the relatively simple task of side-footing past Itumeleng Khune in the 12th minute.

Senegal, who reached the quarter-finals on their last World Cup appearance, now have an unassailable five-point lead at the top of Group D, having gone unbeaten in their five games, while Bafana Bafana are bottom, with just one win to their name.

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.

Ephraim Mashaba looked to change the game from the substitutes' bench, including bringing on Siphiwe Tshabalala, who famously scored the first goal at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

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This only means that come Friday's encounter and the return leg in Dakar, Bafana will need to put aside all their off-the-field problems aside and be at their absolute best if they are to stand any chance of progression.

Senegal are the third African qualifiers for the World Cup in Russian Federation after Nigeria and Egypt, who secured places during the penultimate qualifying round last month.

Khune had been struggling with a facial injury picked up during Kaizer Chiefs' 1-0 Telkom Knock Out victory over Chippa United last Sunday.

Goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye failed to grasp a fierce close-range Themba Zwane shot, but recovered to catch the rebound after the ball struck the onrushing Percy Tau. Sadio Mané set up Diafra Sakho for a handsome first goal, and Mané was involved in the second as well.

Goals: Sakho 12′, Mkhize (OG) 35′.