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Senegal seal passage to WCQ final round thanks to Diedhiou hat-trick against Namibia

Senegal’s prolific attack came through again on Tuesday in FIFA World Cup qualifying with a Famara Diedhiou hat-trick and two assists from Sadio Mané leading the way for a 3-1 win over Namibia. The Teranga Lions remain perfect in Group H and cannot be caught with eight points now separating them from the second-placed Namibians. A later matchup between Republic of Congo and Togo will now be merely for pride and positioning following the Senegal victory.

It never looked in doubt that Senegal would be unable to top Group H and the excellent quality throughout the squad confirmed it on the pitch. Namibia did well to offer some resistance in the first matchup of the doubleheader earlier this week and once again provided a challenge in Johannesburg. The Senegalese got the scoring started in the 22nd minute when Mané was given far too much room on the left flank and picked out Diedhiou with a cross for the Alanyaspor striker to head in.

The match in South Africa was technically Namibia’s home fixture, and the Brave Warriors bounced back only five minutes later in an attempt to defend their “home” turf. Willy Stephanus had plenty of space on the left to whip in a cross with pace that found talismanic striker Peter Shalulile. It only took two quick touches for the Mamelodi Sundowns player to unleash an excellently placed low shot that left Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy motionless, and the game was level.

Namibia were certainly in the match for a long stretch and kept the score even until the halftime break. Soon after it was Diedhiou who was involved again to take the lead back for the visitors. Left back Saliou Ciss sent in a 51st minute precision cross that found Diedhiou, who met the ball with yet another excellent header that snuck into the far corner as Namibia keeper Lloyd Kazapua stumbled and fell trying to spring towards the shot. The Warriors nearly hit right back again in the 62nd minute as Katjiteo Wesley got his head to a diagonal cross but the shot hit the crossbar on its way over.

Mané’s second assist on the day finished off the win and advancement to the next round for Senegal in the 84th minute, and it was Diedhiou who was once again the beneficiary. The Liverpool FC star forward found space on the right flank with the Namibian defense stretched and rolled in a low cross that Bamba Dieng allowed to roll between his legs to a wide open Diedhiou, who only had to apply an easy tap-in to finish off his hat-trick.

Highlights of the match are in the link below.

Highlights from FIFA TV

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