Senegal is the third African nation to secure a ticket to Russian Federation

Clive Barker- Maritzburg United

Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Diafra Sakho of West Ham United played key roles as Senegal reached the World Cup for the first time in 16 years after defeating South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane on Friday to qualify for the tournament in Russian Federation next year.

South Africa last qualified for the 2002 Fifa World Cup, having gained automatic participation as hosts in 2010. The visitors are now five points ahead of nearest Group D challengers Burkina Faso with one game remaining.

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

The mercurial winger recently helped his nation to book their ticket to next summer's World Cup in Russian Federation, and was expected to remain with the squad for another upcoming match with South Africa as the remaining group ties are played. The other two slots will be filled Saturday with north African countries Tunisia and Morocco needing draws to qualify.


Baxter's side were beaten 2-0 by the Lions of Teranga on Friday as their hopes of playing in Russian Federation next year were slashed, and they will now be playing for nothing but pride in Dakar on Tuesday evening.

The Senegalese Teranga Lions doubled their lead after 38 minutes against the run of play with another goal involving Sakho and Mane.

Mane failed to get a solid connection on his shot from eight yards that was saved by Khune, but the ball deflected off the back of Mkhize and dribbled into the Bafana net.

South Africa introduced midfielders Andile Jali and Siphiwe Tshabalala midway through the second half, but neither made an impact.

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