Following a minute’s silence after eight people were killed following a crush before Monday’s match between Cameroon and The Comoros, Mané nearly got Senegal’s first goal from open play in the competition just 38 seconds in when he rattled Vózinha’s left-hand post, following a lay-off from former Merseyside derby rival Idrissa Gueye. Their hopes of breaking the deadlock were given a boost on the 20-minute mark, as Patrick Andrade was sent off for treading on the left ankle of Pape Gueye in an attempt to regain possession.
Andrade had initially received only a booking before the VAR review, but Cape Verde didn’t let that decision weigh them down, as they continued to frustrate Senegal. The favourites went close again soon after the dismissal, when Mané produced a neat one-two with Idrissa Gueye and surged into the box, only for Steven Fortès to shut the door with a crucial challenge.
The first moment of drama after the break came when Édouard Mendy’s huge clearance released Mané, before the team’s talisman clashed heads with Vózinha on the edge of the box. The ‘Blue Sharks’ then saw their situation go from bad to worse as their goalkeeper was dismissed following a VAR check, which showed that Mané was clean through on goal.
Back-up stopper Márcio Rosa was called into immediate action to tip a Mané strike away, but the Liverpool star soon made the breakthrough when a Bouna Sarr corner was headed out to him, and the 29-year-old curled brilliantly in off the bar from 15 yards. However, Aliou Cissé will be sweating on Mané’s fitness as he was forced off shortly afterwards, still feeling the effects of the collision with Vózinha.
Substitute Dieng then slotted home in stoppage time as he capitalised on tired opposition legs to finish the contest off, but Senegal know they must up their performance levels if they are to see off either Mali or Equatorial Guinea in Douala on Sunday
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