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Sadio Mane inspires Senegal’s World Cup qualification

Liverpool star plays hand in both goals in victory away to South Africa

Senegal’s Sadio Mane in action with South Africa’s Dean Furman during the World Cup Qualifier at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South Africa 0 Senegal 2

Sadio Mane played the leading role to take Senegal to next year’s World Cup in Russia as they beat South Africa 2-0 away on Friday to take an unassailable lead in Group D of the African qualifiers.

The Liverpool player set up the opening strike for Diafra Sakho after 12 minutes and then had a shot saved shortly before half-time, which rebounded off home defender Thamsanqa Mkhize for an own goal.

The win put Senegal on 11 points in the standings, out of the reach of the rest of the teams and ensures a second appearance at the World Cup finals after they reached the quarter-finals in Japan and South Korea in 2002.

Friday’s match was a replay after South Africa had beaten Senegal 2-1 at the same venue a year ago, only for Fifa to find that the outcome had been manipulated by Ghanian referee Joseph Lamptey, who has since been handed a life ban.