Senegal became the 24th country and Africa’s third country to qualify for the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia after defeating Bafana Bafana of South Africa 2-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.
The game was a replay between the two countries after their first meeting which South Africa won 2-1 on November 12, 2016 was cancelled after the referee was found culpable of awarding a nonexistent penalty to the Bafana Bafana.
Diafra Sakho and an own by South Africa’s Thamsanqa Mkhize secured Senegal’s second World Cup qualification, their first since Korea/Japan 2002.
South Africa needed an outright win to give hope to their slim chance of making it to Russia although Burkina Faso on six points posed a threat..
The win took Senegal to an unassailable 11 points after five games, while South Africa remain rooted at the bottom on four points.
Sakho put Senegal 1-0 up in the 12th minute as he slid the ball past Itumeleng Khune after he was set up by a sublime Sadio Mane pass.
In the 38th minute, Senegal doubled their lead following an unfortunate own goal by Thamsanqa Mkhize after Khune had saved Mane’s initial attempt.
Senegal have now joined Nigeria and Egypt as the three African countries who have so far qualified for the 2018 World Cup.
Senegal will host South Africa on Tuesday, November 14 in an inconsequential game in their last African qualifying Group D fixture while Burkina Faso play Cape Verde.