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Football

Mane lone strike ends Cranes’ AFCON dream

The two team captains line up alongside the referees before kick off on Friday.

AFCON 2019
Senegal 1-0 Uganda
Cairo International Stadium, Cairo
Friday, 05-07-2019

Sadio Mane once again starred for Senegal as they defeated Uganda 1-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16.

The Liverpool forward scored the only goal of the game inside the opening quarter of the hour before missing a second half penalty.

As anticipated by Senegal’s coach Aliou Cisse, the game started in a physical African approach with challenges flying in and around.

With in the first 10 minutes of the game, three players were booked.

Uganda’s captain and custodian Denis Onyango was the first to be booked after he rushed off his line and took down Ismaila Sarr, outside his area.

As Uganda was struggling to get into the game, Emmanuel Okwi was also booked for an elbow on Senegal captain Chieke Kouyate.

Badou Niang was then shown yellow for a reckless foul on Farouk Miya as tempers flared.

With the game starting to slow down, Sengal took the lead. Off a Godfrey Walusimbi short blind-pass, Sarr found M’baye Niang who inturn threaded a through ball in behind the Cranes defence, picking out Sadio Mane to slot in past the helpless Onyango.

Moments after conceding, Uganda were dealt a huge blow as Hassan Wasswa limped off with injury and was replaced by Timothy Awanyi.

The Cranes first chance of the game fell to Emmanuel Okwi on 21 minutes but after he was teed up by the lively Abdu Lumala, the Simba SC forward shot directly at Alfred Gomis in the Ghana goal and the custodian pushed the ball away from danger.

Uganda have looked dangerous at set plays all campaign and towards the half hour mark, Okwi headed a Miya corner just wide.

The game continued to be physical and Khalid Aucho was the next to be booked after he went in hard on Sarr.

As Uganda tried to get an equalizer before the break, they were left exposed at the back and on 35 minutes, Niang raced onto a long ball before rounding Onyango but the custodian recovered to concede a fruitless corner.

At halftime, Senegal was struggling to control the game as Uganda tried to make things happen in the final third.

Unlike in the first game against DR Congo, Uganda was struggling to capitalize on set plays and with 5 minutes played in the second half, Miya blasted over a free kick from a promising position.

On 56 minutes, Allan Kyambadde replaced the ineffective Patrick Kaddu as Uganda looked for inspiration in the final third.

Moments later Uganda conceded a penalty. Awanyi let a routine Walusimbi ball by-pass him and Mane pounced before the Liverpool forward was taken down inside the area by Onyango.

Onyango (Right) brings down Sadio Mane (10) to conced a penalty.

After Mane picked himself up, his resultant kick was saved by Onyango who could have easily been shown a second yellow card for the initial foul.

Despite Uganda not causing serious threat, Senegal were not looking assured. Koulibaliy became the fourth player to be booked after the Napoli center back slide in through on Okwi.

With 14 minutes ro play, Uganda brought on Allan Kateregga for his AFCON debut, replacing Aucho.

Moments after coming on, the Maritzburg midfielder forced a save from Gomis, sending a stinging free-kick goal wards from 27 yards.

In the end, it was not a classy and dominant performance but Senegal held on to reach the last 8 of the competition where they will face Benin.

For Uganda, they head home with their heads held high after making it to the knockout stages of the competition for the first time in over 41 years.

The other game played on Saturday.

-Morocco 1-1 Benin (Benin win 4-1 on penalties)

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