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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Senegal reach World Cup with 2-0 win over South Africa

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Nov 2017
Senegal v South Africa
Senegal's Sadio Mane in action with South Africa's Dean Furman (Reuters)
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Senegal became the third African side to qualify for next year's World Cup finals after defeating South Africa 2-0 away from home in a replayed match on Friday.

The match in Polokwane was a replay of last year's 2-1 win for South Africa at the same venue, which FIFA later found had its outcome manipulated by the Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who has since been handed a life ban.

Senegal took an early lead when West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho ran onto a defence-splitting pass to slot home with aplomb after 12 minutes.

South Africa were unlucky not to equalize after wasting a couple of chances and Senegal punished them with another goal seven minutes before the break.

Sakho's initial effort was saved by the keeper but the ball deflected off the sliding Thamsanqa Mkhize and into the net for an own goal.

Senegal held on in the second half to ensure they would finish on top of Group D regardless of their result against South Africa in their final match next week.

They have 11 points from five games, five ahead of second-placed Burkina Faso with one match remaining. South Africa are at the bottom on four points.

Senegal, who will make their second World Cup appearance after reaching the quarter-finals in 2002, join Egypt and Nigeria in next year's Russia finals.

Tunisia and Morocco will also reach the World Cup if they avoid defeats against Libya and Ivory Coast respectively on Saturday.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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