Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sadio Mane and Edouard Mendy book Afcon final spot against hosts Cameroon or Mo Salah’s Egypt

SADIO MANE and Edouard Mendy’s Africa Cup of Nations adventure is going all the way as the Liverpool hero sealed Senegal’s place in Sunday’s final.

He hit Burkina Faso on the break to wrap up a 3-1 win five minutes from time and become his country’s joint all-time top goalscorer.

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Senegal booked their spot in the Afcon final by beating Burkina Faso 3-1Credit: Reuters
Sadio Mane wrapped up the win with his record-equalling 29th international goal

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Sadio Mane wrapped up the win with his record-equalling 29th international goalCredit: Reuters

Abdou Diallo had scored just once for Senegal before – and is yet to find the net in 72 games for Paris Saint-Germain – when he stabbed in the opener on 70 minutes before Idrissa Gueye made it 2-0.

Burkina Faso looked to stage a mighty comeback when Blati Toure kneed in past Mendy.

But Mane sealed it on the counter – and now hands over to Reds team-mate Mo Salah to see if he can fire Egypt past hosts Cameroon.

In a dramatic first half, Senegal had THREE penalty shouts turned down.

Firstly, Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi came rushing out to punch clear and clattered Cheikhou Kouyate, who then fell on the stopper’s head.

But ref Bamlak Tessema Weyesa decided there was no foul when he watched the replays on the VAR monitor.

Koffi was taken down the tunnel on a stretcher after the nasty collision.

Mane was then denied a spot-kick when Issa Kabore dangled in a leg but there was not enough in it to warrant a foul.

Sub goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo pushed away a Mane effort in the fifth minute of first-half injury time.

But there was still time for a third appeal – and this time Senegal got it.

Edmond Tapsoba blocked a sweet strike with his elbow.

But had his arm tucked into his body and Weyesa overturned his decision having taken a second look pitchside.

Senegal got their breakthrough on 70 minutes when Kalidou Koulibaly’s overhead kick from a corner fell to Diallo who side-footed home.

It should have made it 2-0 just three minutes later but a back-post header was somehow headed wide.

Seconds later, though, it was 2-0 when Mane worked hard to pinch the ball back and rolled it back for Gueye and Bamba Dieng who both claimed to get the final touch sliding into the unguarded net.

Toure’s late run into the box and unconventional finish completely bamboozled the Chelsea goalkeeper.

But a bizarre mix up in Burkina Faso’s attack as they searched for a late equaliser saw one player slide tackle another.

Senegal broke quickly and Mane did the business, dinking over Ouedraogo for his 29th international goal, tying him level with Henri Camara.

More to follow

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