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Sunday, October 1, 2023

2023 AFCON Qualifying: First half strike from Dia the difference in Senegal’s defeat of Mozambique

Senegal secured their ticket to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations and took a step closer towards a perfect record in qualifying on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Mozambique in Maputo. Sadio Mané set up Boulaye Dia to score the only goal of the match with Senegal now eight points clear at the top of Group L. Mozambique remain in second place on four points but a victory for Rwanda or Benin on Wednesday could see either side leap past the Mambas.

Despite being the visitors the home support did little to deter African champions Senegal from taking control in the early stages. Moments after Pape Matar Sarr headed wide from a floated cross in the 17th minute the Lions of Teranga were in the lead. Mané received the ball in midfield and was able to drive towards the edge of the penalty area before laying a pass into the path of Dia on the right side of the Mozambican penalty area, where the in form Salernitana striker fired low past Mambas goalkeeper Ivane.

Mozambique woke up after conceding and created issues for the Senegalese defense. A 34th minute corner kick found Kaizer Chiefs defender Edmilson Dove but he could not direct his header on target. The Mambas managed to look more threatening at times in the second half but could not find a way through and Senegal were able to hold on and remain perfect in Group L play.

Highlights are below.