Senegal power past South Africa to book World Cup spot

Senegal power past South Africa to book World Cup spot

English Premier League pair Diafra Sakho and Sadio Mane played key roles as Senegal defeated South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

West Ham striker Sakho opened the scoring off a pass from Liverpool attacker Mane and both were involved in the move that led to a Thamsanqa Mkhize own-goal before half-time on Friday.

Victory gave Senegal an uncatchable five-point lead over Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in Group D with one round left.

The only previous World Cup appearance by Senegal was in 2002 when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team that reached the quarterfinals in South Korea and Japan.

Bottom-of-the-table South Africa lie seven ponts behind Senegal ahead of a return match in Dakar next Tuesday, with Burkina Faso hosting Cape Verde at the same time.

South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last November, but FIFA ordered a replay because of "match manipulation" by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who was banned for life.

"It was not an easy game for us, but we took the chances that came our way," said Mane.

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