CAN 2024 qualifiers: Senegal qualifies in Mozambique, Mali blocked in Gambia
As in the first leg, Boulaye Dia, served by Sadio Mané, scored against Mozambique. AFP - JOHN WESSELS
Text by: Ndiasse Sambe Follow
Winner of Mozambique in Maputo (1-0), Senegal won its fourth victory in four days and ensured its qualification for the Ivorian AFCON. Mali, beaten in Gambia (1-0), misses the boat and relaunches its opponent of the day.
The logic was respected in Maputo. Senegal, reigning African champions, winner four days ago of Mozambique (5-1), again took the three points against the Mambas. But the score does not tell everything about the difficulty encountered by Aliou Cissé's players to tame their opponents a second time.
Yet put in orbit, from the 19th minute, by the opening score of Boulaye Dia, well served by Sadio Mané, the Lions suffered to keep their advantage. The disastrous state of the pitch, the Ramadan observed by some players may explain the lack of control on the part of the visitors, four days after a match dominated from start to finish. Like Idrissa Gana Guèye very rough in the game, or Mané clumsy, Senegal were not transcendent on the pitch of the Maputo stadium, stumbling against a team that dreamed of feat and pushed for much of the second half. But the mission is fulfilled with this qualification to the CAN 2024, two days before the end of the qualifiers. The second ticket of this pool L will be played between Mozambique, Rwanda and Benin.
In Pool G, Mali fell to Banjul after three wins in a row. Eric Chelle's protégés had the opportunity to qualify if they won, but instead served to revive a Gambia team that saw qualification recede as the game progressed. The Scorpions, well controlled by the solidity of the Eagles, had the opportunity to sting at the right time, ten minutes from the end of the match. It is thanks to a cross header from defender Oumar Colley (79th), served on a free kick by Ebrima Colley, that Tom Saintfiet's men won a victory that totally relaunches them.
Mali still remains leader of the pool with three points ahead of the duo Congo and Gambia (6 points). South Sudan, with three points, remains unfavourable.
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