War of words between the coaches preceded the game
CAIRO: Liverpool star Sadio Mane scored twice after having a penalty saved as Senegal defeated Kenya 3-0 in Cairo Monday to book an Africa Cup of Nations last-16 place. The Champions League-winning forward had a timidly-struck first half penalty saved by Patrick Matasi before making amends with a brace after a goalless opening 45 minutes.
Ismaila Sarr put Senegal ahead on 63 minutes and Mane netted on 71 and 78 minutes, his second goal coming from another penalty. Kenya were reduced to 10 men just before the second penalty was taken with Philemon Otieno sent off for a second yellow card. Algeria made 11 changes to the team that beat Senegal last week and still beat Tanzania 3-0 in Cairo to top Group C with nine points. Senegal were runners-up with six points, Kenya third with three and Tanzania, back at the tournament after 39 years, ended pointless. The qualification of Senegal raised to 12 the number of teams who have secured places in the second round, which kicks off Friday.
Hosts Egypt, surprise side Madagascar, Algeria and Morocco advanced as group winners and Uganda, Nigeria, Senegal and the Ivory Coast as runners-up. Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo have already taken two of the spots allocated to the four best third-place countries. With Algeria having qualified and Tanzania eliminated before the final group matches, the focus was on the battle for second place between Senegal and Kenya.
War of words
A war of words between the coaches preceded the game with France-born Kenya handler Sebastien Migne suggesting Senegal lacked the mental strength to become African champions. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse responded by reminding Migne that his side were ranked 82 places higher in the world and the loss to Algeria was the first in four years in Africa.
Kenya were lucky to reach half-time level with Senegal at the June 30 Stadium as apart from the Mane penalty miss, captain Victor Wanyama was not punished for handling in the box. Patrick Matasi also made two great saves, blocking an Idrissa Gueye close-range shot and tipping a Sarr header over via the top of the crossbar.
Kenya came close to snatching the lead against the run of play just past the hour when a Dennis Omino snap shot was brilliantly parried by Alfred Gomis. A minute later and Senegal were ahead as Matasi fell while trying to clear a cross and Sarr turned to fire superbly into the corner of the net. Mane atoned for his penalty blunder by adding a second on 71 minutes, taking advantage of poor defending from Mohamed Musa off a long ball to run through and score.
Given a second penalty chance, Mane made no mistake, tucking the ball into the corner despite a brave attempt by the outstanding Matasi to reach it. At the Al Salam Stadium, Tanzania contained Algeria for 35 minutes before conceding three goals by half-time with Islam Slimani opening the scoring before Adam Ounas added two. – AFP