Mane scores last-minute penalty to secure Senegal victory

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CAPE TOWN – Sadio Mane netted a penalty seven minutes into stoppage time to hand defending African champions Senegal a narrow 1-0 victory over Rwanda at home in their qualifier at the African Cup of Nations, Tuesday 7 June.

Senegal fielded a full squad, with Mane leading the attack, but had to wait a minute before the final whistle to secure victory over the 136th-seeded side in their Group L clash at the new stadium in Dakar.

There were also victories for Burkina Faso, the Cape Verde Islands and Zambia as the qualifying competition for the 2023 finals in Ivory Coast continued.

Senegal were supposed to play their match in Kigali, but renovations to the Rwandan capital’s stadium saw the two associations agree to swap their qualifiers, so Rwanda will host Senegal at the end of the qualifying competition next March. .

Senegal had started the defense of the Nations Cup crown they won in February with a 3-1 win over Benin in Dakar at the weekend, where Mane netted a hat-trick, including two kicks.

But this time there was only a last-minute penalty for the large crowd to cheer, after an awkward challenge from Jimmy Mutsinzi on Saliou Ciss ended Rwanda’s hopes of a remarkable result.

The Kings Kangwa netted a spectacular curling free-kick two minutes from time to hand Zambia a narrow 2-1 victory over tiny Comoros in Lusaka in Group H after falling to one goal after 13 minutes when defensive confusion allowed Red Star Belgrade striker El Fardou Ben Mohamed to recover the loose ball and strike firmly into the net.

Zambian captain Enock Mwepu equalized just before half-time before Kangwa won the game.

Eswatini, who held Togo away at the weekend in their Group B opener, took the lead after 64 minutes in Johannesburg against Burkina Faso but then had their job called off in the six-minute gap when 20-year-old Dango Ouattara scored twice for the Burkinabé as they won 3-1.

In the same group, striker Julio Tavares gave the Cape Verde Islands an early lead against Togo and victory in Praia was secured in stoppage time by midfielder Jamiro Monteiro.

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