AFCON: Senegal Has Qualified For The Finals, Beating Burkina Faso With Sadio Mane On The Score-sheet
It was a nervous and tactical first half which saw tournament favourites Senegal (who have never won AFCON) have two penalty decisions overturned following VAR intervention, with Burkina Faso losing goalkeeper Herve Koffi to injury after the first incident.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Abdou Diallo broke the deadlock for Senegal on 70 minutes with a smart turn and finish after centre-back partner Kalidou Koulibaly’s bicycle kick turned an out swinging corner back towards goal.
Few minutes later, Senegal looked to be in total control when Idrissa Gueye doubled their lead after Mane won the ball back in a dangerous area and pulled it back for the PSG midfielder.
Despite appearing to be out of energy and ideas, Burkina Faso sprung back into life after a double change and pulled one back as Blati Toure’s improvised finish with his knee sailed past Edouard Mendy in the Senegal goal.
But Mane made sure the game was over with three minutes remaining of play time as he was put through on goal and lofted the ball over the Burkina Faso substitute goalkeeper Farid Ouedraogo.
“We knew it would not be easy, it was a semi-final of the Cup of Nations after all,” said Mane. “And we were up against a good Burkina Faso team who gave us a lot of problems.