Wednesday, December 11, 2019 | ePaper

Congo keep Mane in check

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Sadio Mane (10) from Senegal, runs with the ball in front of a Congolese player at the Lat-Dior stadium in Thies, Senegal on Wednesday during a qualifying game ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (CAF).

AFP, Johannesburg :
The failure of Liverpool star Sadio Mane to score did not prevent Senegal cruising to a 2-0 win over Congo Brazzaville on Wednesday as 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying began.
France-based duo Sidy Sarr and Habibou Diallo netted within three minutes during the first half in Thies near Dakar to ensure the Teranga Lions collected maximum points.
Senegal finished runners-up to Algeria in the 2019 Cup of Nations, the second time they collected silver medals in a biennial competition they have never won.
Mane and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly are the stand-out players in a team expected to win Group I, where Guinea-Bissau overcame eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) 3-0 in the other fixture.
Nigeria, third at the recent Cup of Nations, fought back to defeat Benin 2-1 in southeastern city Uyo with Samuel Kalu scoring the second half match-winner.
Veteran Stephane Sessegnon gave Benin an early lead they retained until the stroke of half-time when Victor Osimhen levelled by converting a penalty.
Benin eliminated highly-fancied Morocco at the last-16 stage of the Cup of Nations in Egypt last July and took Senegal to the wire before making a quarter-finals exit.
In the other Group L match, Jane Thabantso netted in the final minute to earn Lesotho a 1-1 draw away to Sierra Leone, who had taken a 72nd-minute lead through Kwame Quee in Freetown.
Cameroon, automatic 2021 tournament participants as hosts, are taking part to get competitive match practice and began disappointingly when held 0-0 at home by Cape Verde in Group F.
The Indomitable Lions went to Egypt this year as defending champions, but managed only one win in four matches and were eliminated by Nigeria in the round of 16.

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