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AFCON qualifiers: Mane on target as Senegal keep perfect record

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Senegal maintained their perfect record in Group I of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after they defeated Guinea Bissau 2-0 at Stade Lat-Dior in Thies on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Sadio Mane and Opa Nguette took the Teranga Lions to three wins from three and they top the pool on nine points, with the Djurtus placed third on three points. Second-placed Congo (three points) and bottom-of-the-log Eswatini (zero points) will meet in Brazzaville tomorrow.

Senegal were the stronger team through the first half, but struggled to create clear-cut chances with which to test Guinea-Bissau goalkeeper Jonas Mendes.

However, their pressure finally cracked the visitors’ defence a few minutes before the interval when they earned a penalty. Liverpool star Sadio Mane converted emphatically from the spot to ensure the Teranga Lions led 1-0 at half time.

Senegal continued to probe in the second half, but the Djurtus were canny in defence and offered not little threat in attack themselves, with the likes of substitute Joseph Mendes and Piqueti looking dangerous when given space to run into.

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Yet the hosts’ greater quality and depth came to the fore when substitute Opa Nguette, who plays his club football with Metz in France’s Ligue 1, netted on 74 minutes to make it 2-0, striking home from the edge of the area to effectively end the game as a contest.

Senegal eased off once the game was fully under their control, as they saved energy for the reverse fixture between these teams, which will be played on Sunday 15 November at Estadio 24 de Setembro in Bissau.

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