Sunday, 15 November 2020 20:46


Staff Writer.

Senegal became the first country to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) following a 1-0 win over 10-man Guinea-Bissau at Estádio 24 de Setembro in Bissau.

The Lions of Teranga had defeated the same opponents 2-0 at Stade Lat-Dior in Thies on Wednesday and made it four wins from four qualifying matches courtesy of a second-half Sadio Mane goal.

Guinea-Bissau were dealt a blow in the 64th minute as Jorge Bura Braima received his marching orders following a second bookable offence.

Senegal pushed forward in the ensuing minutes as they aimed to make good use of their numerical advantage and the breakthrough finally came in the 82nd minute. Mane played a neat one-two inside the penalty area before sliding the ball under the onrushing Jonas Mendes in the Guinea-Bissau goal.

Victory moved Senegal, who finished as runners-up at the most recent Afcon tournament, up to 12 points in Group I while Guinea-Bissau remain on three points, three behind second-placed Congo who are away to eSwatini on Monday.

Meanwhile Egypt have drawn level with Group G leaders Comoros after claiming a 1-0 win over Togo in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Cairo International Stadium.

Without the inspirational Mohamed Salah (who tested positive for Covid-19 in the build-up to the match) the Pharaohs were laboured in attack but ultimately claimed all three points – joining Comoros at the top of the standings – thanks to a goal early in the second half from Mahmoud Hamdi.

Egypt dominated from early on, but initially lacked the pace and precision needed to break down Togo’s defence.

However, Egypt were able to hold out for an unconvincing – but important – victory which breathes major life into their hopes of reaching the finals in Cameroon in 2022.

The return game between the Pharaohs and the Sparrow Hawks will be held Stade de Kegue in Lome on Tuesday, 17 November.