Health

Senegal see off Equatorial Guinea to advance to Cup of Nations semis

Famara
Diedhiou opened the scoring for Senegal, who then conceded a surprise equaliser
to Jannick Buyla, only for substitutes Cheikhou Kouyate and Ismaila Sarr to
come on and restore Senegal’s lead and put the result beyond doubt.

Senegal,
one of the pre-tournament favourites, booked a semi-final meeting with Burkina
Faso on Wednesday.

Earlier
on Sunday in the first of two matches at the Ahmadou Ahidjou Stadium, Egypt edged
Morocco 2-1 after extra time and will play host nation Cameroon in the other
semi-final on Thursday.

Diedhiou
got on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Sadio Mane after 28 minutes,
outsprinted the centre backs and hit home with a first-time effort with his
left foot.

It
looked as if it might open the floodgates in a mismatch between Africa’s
top-ranked team and an Equatorial Guinea side, who are 94 places beneath them
in the FIFA rankings.

But
Senegal were unable to add any more goals despite dominating the first half and
then found themselves in a sticky situation five minutes after the resumption.

They
had a penalty awarded against them when a pass from Iban Salvador struck
captain Kalildou Koulibaly on the hand, but referee Victor Gomes changed his
mind after reviewing his decision on the pitchside VAR screen.

Koulibaly
was struck on the hand, but at close range and without his arm being away from
his body.

Despite
the disappointment of not getting a spotkick, Equatorial Guinea came storming
forward and an interchange of passes on the edge of the area allowed Buyla to
stab home a 57th-minute equaliser.

See also  Man who worked as BGB 'source' killed in Chuadanga

They
had already beaten defending champions Algeria, Sierra Leone and Mali in their
previous matches and were eyeing another major scalp.

Yet
parity lasted less than 10 minutes as Kouyate restored his side’s lead, three
minutes after coming on in the 65th minute.

A
mix-up in the Equatorial Guinea defence saw the two centre backs challenge for
the same high ball, spilling it backwards where Kouyate cleverly stole in and
lifted his finish over goalkeeper Jesus Owono.

Senegal
made sure of the result when Sarr had an easy tap-in in the 79th minute. He had
come on for his first appearance of the tournament and immediately took hold of
the ball, dominating the later stages of the contest.

It
was his first game since he suffered a serious knee injury playing for Watford
against Manchester United in November and his arrival at the tournament
followed a tug-of-war over his availability between club and country.

Related Articles

Back to top button