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2018 World Cup: Group H preview

2018 World Cup, Group H

Dates – 19-28 June 2018

Venues – Saransk, Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Volgograd, Samara

West African aspect Senegal will glimpse to revive reminiscences of their breathtaking World Cup debut in 2002 when they battle for ascendancy in a large open up Group H at Russia 2018. Colombia, Poland and Japan full a sturdy foursome which promises to be one of the most unpredictable at this year’s tournament.

Senegal shocked the world sixteen decades back when they initially beat reigning champions France in their opening game before obtaining as far as the quarterfinals – a feat no other African team has bettered before or given that. The ‘Teranga Lions’ are led by manager Aliou Cisse – a veteran of that 2002 team – and boast an admirable array of expertise, nevertheless Liverpool ahead Sadio Mane is the clear celebrity of their team.

Poland is not the initially identify that arrives at mind when one thinks of Europe’s strongest football nations, but the ‘White Eagles’ arrive into Russia 2018 positioned in the best 10 of FIFA’s world position and they appreciated a good qualification campaign.

Not only did they best their team forward of Denmark, but they also produced the co-primary scorer in the world-large level of competition: Robert Lewandowski’s sixteen goals ended up matched only by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and UAE’s Ahmed Khalil. Adam Nawalka’s aspect is perfectly-organised, rough-to-beat and boasts loads of practical experience.

The same can be explained of South American heavyweights Colombia. They finished fourth in the notoriously complicated CONMEBOL qualification zone and have saved alongside one another the core of the team which reached the previous 8 of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Their star in that tournament was attacker James Rodriguez – the 26-year-old has not long gone on to just take the world by storm, as was envisioned soon after his incredible displaying four decades back and subsequent transfer to Real Madrid (he’s now on the books of Bayern Munich), but he stays a vital cog in Jose Pekerman’s aspect.

Japan finished best in their AFC qualification team and arrive into Russia 2018 searching to improve on their team phase exit from four decades back. Managed by Akira Nishino, the ‘Samurai Blue’ has a workmanlike team dotted with the occasional standout expertise, these types of as Leicester City’s Shinji Okazaki, Borussia Dortmund playmaker Shinji Kagawa and Eintracht Frankfurt defensive midfielder Makoto Hasebe, who also serves as the national side’s captain.

Group H fixtures (all times CAT)

19 June 2018, 14h00 – Colombia v Japan – Mordovia Arena, Saransk

19 June 2018, 17h00 – Poland v Senegal – Otkritie Arena, Moscow

24 June 2018, 17h00 – Japan v Senegal – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg

24 June 2018, 20h00 – Poland v Colombia – Kazan Arena, Kazan

28 June 2018, 16h00 – Japan v Poland – Volgograd Arena, Volgograd

28 June 2018, 16h00 – Senegal v Colombia – Cosmos Arena, Samara

Group H head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)

Colombia v Japan – P3 W2 D1 L0 GF5 GA1

Poland v Senegal – No preceding matches

Japan v Senegal – P3 W0 D1 L2 GF2 GA5

Poland v Colombia – P5 W2 D0 L3 GF8 GA7

Japan v Poland – P2 W2 D0 L0 GF7 GA0

Senegal v Colombia – P1 W0 D1 L0 GF2 GA2

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Group H: Poland head wide open group



There will be a global feel to Group H at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, with top seed Poland drawn alongside African qualifiers Senegal, Colombia from South America and Asian powerhouse Japan. It is the only group not to have a team that has won football’s biggest prize.

Teams
POLAND | SENEGAL | COLOMBIA | JAPAN

Key Game
Poland v Colombia (Sunday 24 June, Kazan Arena, Kazan)

The clash between Poland and Colombia could prove pivotal, in terms of who will advance to the knockout stages. Both sides possess an array of talent that have the potential to set the tournament alight, and this match-up at the Kazan Arena may provide the platform for a memorable individual or team display.

What you need to know

• Earning the last automatic qualification spot in South America, Colombia will be keen to better their performance at Brazil 2014 when they reached the last eight. Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez will be key players for Los Cafeteros.

• Senegal’s previous lone appearance at the world finals was a memorable one, as the Lions of Teranga reached the quarter-finals of Korea/Japan 2002. Their maiden campaign included victories over then world champions France in the group stage and Sweden in the Round of 16.

• Having edged Saudi Arabia and Australia to top Asian zone Group B in qualification, Japan will be aiming to have their best campaign at a global finals in Russia. In their previous five appearances, the Samurai Blue’s best achievement was reaching the Round of 16 as co-hosts in 2002 and at South Africa 2010.

The stat

16
– the number of goals that Poland captain Robert Lewandowski scored in ten appearances to top the European qualifying scoring charts.



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Senegal best and worst case draw scenarios – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 30, 2017. 18:30


Ahead of tomorrow’s draw for the 2018 World Cup, AfricanFootball looks at both the best and worst case group stage scenarios for Senegal’s Teranga Lions.

Which pot are Senegal in?

The West Africans are in Pot 3 due to their world ranking position (32) in October, which determined which section of the draw teams were assigned to.

Which teams can they be drawn against?

– One of the teams in Pot 1: Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France

– One of the teams in Pot 2: Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay and Croatia

– One of the following teams in Pot 4: Serbia, Australia, Japan, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia

Which teams can they not be drawn against?

All of the other teams in Pot 3 – Tunisia, Egypt, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden and Iran – as well as the two Africans teams in Pot 4: Nigeria and Morocco.

What’s their best-case scenario?

From Pot 1, Senegal will want to draw Russia. The 2018 hosts are easily the weakest team in that pool. Short of getting the home side, Belgium and Poland are probably a touch overrated and have traditionally struggled at big tournaments.

From Pot 2 they’ll want to draw Peru, who haven’t been to the World Cup since 1982, or one of England, Switzerland or Croatia – they’re all fine teams, but not as powerful and dangerous as the likes of Spain, Uruguay and Mexico.

From Pot 4 the Teranga Lions will want Panama, who are making their tournament debut, or the lowest ranked team, Saudi Arabia. Though none of the others – Serbia, Australia, Japan and South Korea – are particularly intimidating either.

Summary: Senegal’s dream group stage draw would see them pooled with Russia, Peru and Panama/Saudi Arabia.

And their worst?

As a combination, this is about as bad as it could get for Senegal: South American heavyweights Brazil from Pot 1, 2010 champions Spain from Pot 2 and Serbia from Pot 4. You could swap out Brazil for Argentina and it would be just as tough, or go with Germany from Pot 1 and Colombia or Uruguay from Pot 2. There are plenty of combinations to get African fans nervous.

Summary: A group with Brazil, Spain and Serbia would represent the worst case for the Teranga Lions.



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Senegal coach Aliou Cisse irked by Keita Balde’s discipline – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Senegal coach Aliou Cisse

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 13:30


Media reports in Senegal have revealed the reasons why striker Keita Balde was a notable absentee when they faced South Africa in this month’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

It is reported that the AS Monaco player’s disciplinary issues could cost him a spot in the World Cup squad as coach Aliou Cisse is unhappy with him.

Reports emerging from the Senegal Football Federation reveal that Balde’s conduct forced Cisse to axe him from the starting line-up for the double-header against Bafana Bafana early this month.

It is reported that Balde was summoned by the president of the federation to explain his sulking during the game against Cape Verde, but the player took it personal and reportedly insulted Cisse.

“After the match in Dakar, Balde travelled to France and three days later he was line up in a Ligue 1 match in Amiens,” FSF said.

“His overall behaviours also annoyed his teammates as he never interacts with anyone at locker room nor during meal times.”

Furthermore, the French-based attacker went on to fake an injury and wanted to go back to his club.

After that incident, the 22-year-old player refused to train with his Lions of Teranga teammates and faked an injury even during the match against Bafana in Dakar.



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Agent: Senegal captain Kouyate a wanted man – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Themba Zwane of South Africa challenged by Cheikhou Kouyate of Senegal during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 10:00


Senegalese international Cheikhou Kouyate is a wanted man in England and Italy.

This is according to West Ham United midfielder’s agent Saffet Balkan, who was speaking to Turkish Football.

The 27-year-old recently helped Senegal qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

“Interest spiked after Senegal qualified for the World Cup [last week]. Several clubs and agents want to hold talks,” Balkan said.

The Senegal captain has established himself as one of West Ham’s key players since joining the English club from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2014.

“The Italian and Premier League scouts have been very impressed. Kouyate is very happy in England, he’s settled into life,” he added.

“There are no offers on the table at this stage, we will hold talks and consider our options.”

Kouyate and his West Ham team-mates will face Watford in an English Premier League game on Sunday.



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Senegal star Niasse suprisingly feels sad for Koeman – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 15:30


Senegalese international Oumar Niasse has stated that he feels sorry former Everton FC manager Ronald Koeman.

The Dutch trainer was fired by the English Premier League (EPL) club last month due to the team’s poor results.

Niasse was demoted to the Everton‘s Under-23 side following the arrival of Koeman at the Liverpool-based club in 2016.

The 27-year-old spent the second round of the 2016/17 season out on loan at Hull City where he impressed – scoring four goals in 12 EPL starts.

“I feel sorry for him [Koeman], what happened to him when the club got rid of him,” Niasse told Sky Sports.

“Honestly, they were ready to let me go. I was ready also to go because I knew that it would be a difficult season if I stayed here but at the end I didn’t go.

Upon his return to Everton, Niasse made four league appearances for the Toffees between August and October under Koeman.

“I said thank you to him because he could have said ‘no, you are staying with the U23s’ but when I came back he brought me back to the team.

“That has allowed me to be here today.”

Niasse has scored four goals in six league starts to date for Everton, who are now under the guidance of caretaker manager David Unsworth.



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Senegal cap off 2018 qualifiers with last-gasp win over SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Senegal players celebrate

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 23:44


Senegal capped off a successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Group D rivals South Africa in Dakar on Tuesday night.

The match at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor was merely academic, with the Teranga Lions having already secured a place at Russia 2018 by winning 2-0 in Polokwane at the weekend, but still saw Bafana Bafana put in a much improved performance.

However, they were denied what would have been a creditable draw when Kara Mbodji scored a header with virtually the last action of the match, deep in injury time.

The start of the match was delayed by a few minutes as the stadium floodlights failed just before the scheduled kick off. South Africa created an early chance for Morgan Gould when he got onto a knock-down from Clayton Daniels but could only volley over the target.

South Africa were generally happy to sit back and look to hit on the counter attack, with the pace and skill of Percy Tau providing a good outlet, though too often the Mamelodi Sundowns man was left isolated.

Yet Tau still managed to tee up the best chance of the first half, chesting the ball to meet the movement of Sibusiso Vilakazi, who was denied by a fine reaction save from Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis in the 37th minute.

Senegal upped their game in the second half and claimed the lead 10 minutes after the restart. SA goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune rashly sprinted off his line to try and pressure Moussa Sow, but his action only allowed Opa Nguette to coolly chip the ball into an empty net.

Bafana Bafana had a great chance to equalise in the 63rd minute after Senegal defender Youssouf Sabaly was guilty of clumsy challenge in the box to give away a penalty. Themba Zwane took the spot kick, but directed his effort wide of Gomis’ right-hand post.

Yet just two minutes later the visitors equalised through a great counter-attack goal: Khune released the ball quickly to find Keagan Dolly, who teed up Tau to score with a low, left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net, 1-1.

Senegal created a couple of good chances to reclaim the lead from set pieces, the second of which saw towering defender Kara Mbodji rattle the crossbar with a powerful header in the 74th minute.

That effort proved to be a warning that SA did not heed, as in the third and final minute of injury time Mbodji directed a superb header beyond the reach of Khune to clinch a 2-1 win and set off wild celebrations in Dakar.

Senegal (0) 2 (Nguette 55’, Mbodji 90+3’)

South Africa (0) 1 (Tau 65’)

Senegal: Gomis, Kouyate, Mbodji, Gueye, Sow, Niang (Ciss 73’), Nguette, Sabaly, A. Ndiaye (Diousse 88’), P. Ndiaye (Ndoye 80’), Wague

South Africa: Khune, Mkhize, Daniels, Gould, Hlanti, Furman, Zungu, Zwane (Jali 71’), Vilakazi (Manyama 84’), Dolly, Tau



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Can he help Senegal keep a clean sheet once again? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 13:00


After helping his side to clinch a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup over South Africa, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly will hope to finish the job at home.

Based in the Italian Serie A with Napoli, the Lions of Teranga centre back was instrumental for the West Africans as they downed the 1996 African champions 2-0 in Polokwane, last Friday.

However, the towering defender still has a tough assignment ahead of him as they will want to register another win on Tuesday in Dakar.

‘WE MUST FINISH WITH A FLOURISH’ – SA COACH STUART BAXTER

Although coach Aliou Cisse’s men lost the initial qualifier 2-1 last year, the Senegalese FA protested to FIFA for a replay and it was ordered after referee Joseph Lamptey was guilty of match manipulation.

The order meant that both sides had to go all out for a win in last week’s clash, and Cisse counted on the defender to help avoid concede away for them to wrap up their qualifying campaign with a convincing win.

But the man linked with a move to Liverpool, Barcelona and reigning English Premier League champions Chelsea, ensured the likes of Percy Tau, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Badley Grobler did not find their way through.

With the ticket to Russia already secured, the 26-year-old defender has his sights set on another clean sheet against the overrated Bafana Bafana in front of their home crowds.

On the other hand, Koulibaly will also want to put a cherry on top after realising his World Cup dream by winning the CAF African Footballer of the Year Award next January as well as securing a big move to the EPL.

In the end, the EPL is one of the most competitive leagues in Europe and should he make his move in January, he will be a complete product when he makes his bow at the world’s biggest stage in Russia



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Jurgen Klopp credits Senegal coach Aliou Cisse for a job well done – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Senegal coach Aliou Cisse

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 14, 2017. 12:30


Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp says Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has done a great job with his Senegalese side after reaching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The Lions of Teranga beat South Africa 2-0 on Friday in their penultimate Group D encounter as they secured a spot in Russia, their first in the World Cup since 2002.

The Lions of Teranga, however, will be without Sadio Mane in the return leg on Tuesday as the 25-year-old returned to England to assess his recurring injury.

“Aliou Cisse and his guys have done a fantastic job there and you can see them making a real impact in Russia come next summer. Personally speaking, I’m delighted for Sadio,” said Klopp to the club’s official website.

“Everyone in Liverpool knows his ability and the best players should be on the best stage – Sadio will now have this wonderful chance.

“Specifically on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days.

“At this stage we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him.

“There has been really strong communication between ourselves and the Senegal team management to ensure the player is properly protected and looked after.

“We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care.”

The Reds will host Southampton in the English Premier League on Saturday at Anfield Stadium and Klopp will hope to have Mane back for the tie.



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Bafana Bafana hopes crushed as Senegal book World Cup return – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers football match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 10 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 21:06


Senegal will make a return to the world stage for the first time in 16 years after a 2-0 win over South Africa at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane sealed their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Victory moves the Lions of Teranga up to 11 points and clear of their qualifying counterparts in Group D.

Diafra Sakho’s early strike was followed by an unfortunate own goal from Thamsanqa Mkhize on what turned out to be a sorry night for Bafana Bafana in the Limpopo province – 12 months after everything looked so good.

Sakho got the visitors up and running in the 12th minute. Sadio Manè drawing all the attention allowing for the West Ham United forward to find space and duly finish with aplomb from the Liverpool ace’s precise pass.

South Africa tried to find a way back into the tie and came close through Themba Zwane and Percy Tau before Lebogana Manyama watched his powerful effort canon off the crossbar in the 29th minute.

The sucker punch would follow 10 minutes later as Mkhize put the ball into the back of his own net after Itumleneg Khune had done exceptionally well to deny Manè from point-blank range.

Manyama had the final say of the half as he forced Khadim Ndiaye into a top save just before the break.

Senegal retracted into their shell following the interval, welcoming pressure from the hosts, but South Africa found it difficult to break down their stubborn counterparts.

Sibusiso Vilakazi finally found an opening in the 57th minute, but his shot was straight at the Senegal goal-minder.

Bafana Bafana continued to search for some sort of reprieve, but it was not to come as Senegal booked their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.

The reverse fixture in Dakar next Tuesday will now be a mere formality with South Africa’s fate having been sealed.

South Africa (0) 0

Senegal (2) 2 (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′)

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi (Grobler 83′) – Manyama (Jali 63′), Tau.

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate (A. Ndiaye 86′), Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang (Ciss 90+3′), Sakho (Konatè 78′).



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 21:04


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi (Grobler 83′) – Manyama (Jali 63′), Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate (A. Ndiaye 86′), Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang (Ciss 90+3′), Sakho (Konatè 78′)

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES:

Senegal book their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia! The Lions of Teranga will be back on the world stage for the first time since 2002!

90+4′ Full-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

83′ Final change for the hosts as Sibusiso Vilakazi makes way for Bradley Grobler.

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

73′ Morgan Gould goes into the referee’s book.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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2018 World Cup Qualifier: South Africa 0-2 Senegal – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 10, 2017. 20:33


Good evening and welcome to our Live Coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Senegal from the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, on Friday 11 November 2017.

South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi – Manyama (Jali 63′) , Tau

Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate, Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang, Sakho (Konatè 78′)

LIVE UPDATES:

75′ Into the final exchanges we go and things are not looking good for South Africa. The hosts also seem to have lost all hope as Konatè makes his way onto the pitch.

69′ Shabba makes his return to the international stage – replacing Themba Zwane. Can the Kaizer Chiefs stalwart make the difference?

63′ Andile Jali – who many thought was suspended – comes on for Lebogang Manyama in the first change.

61′ Sifiso Hlanti goes into the referee’s book.

57′ CHANCE! Good build-up by the hosts,  but Sibusiso Vilakazi’s resulting shot is straight at Khadim Ndiaye who makes an easy save.

55′ Senegal happy to sit back and absorb pressure in the opening stages of the half. As it stands they will book their ticket to Russia today.

46′ The second half is underway.

45+1′ Half-Time: South Africa 0-2 Senegal (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′) 

45′ SAVE! Great stop by Khadim Ndiaye to deny Lebogang Manyama’s curling effort from hitting the back of the net. Bafana Bafana ending the half on a high.

39′ SUCKER PUNCH! Unbelievable unlucky for South Africa. Great save by Itumeleng Khune to deny Sadio Mane from close range, but in the most bizarre fashion Thamsanqa Mkhize guides the ball into the back of his own net from the rebound – ball hits his back before nestling in the net. So unlucky.

37′ Salif Sane’s shot from a free-kick takes a deflection and they have a corner-kick. The resulting corner-kick comes to nothing. Senegal have recovered well and slowed the game down following a relentless spell by the hosts.

35′ Yellow Card – Sadio Mane goes into the referee’s book.

29′ WOODWORK! Lebogang Manyama very unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar. So close!

25′ Bafana Bafana burst forward with Themba Zwane seeing his rocket of a shot well saved by the Senegalese goalkeeper – the rebound falls to Percy Tau, but the ball hits him more than anything and the visitors escape. First chance of the match for Bafana Bafana.

20′ South Africa with all the possession since the goal, but  the Teranga Lions are standing firm for the time being. The hosts test the Senegalese from a few set-pieces, but goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye is yet to touch the ball…

12′ GOAL! Diafra Sakho silences the home crowd. The West Ham United man finishes with aplomb following a pin-point through ball from Sadio Mane who split the Bafana Bafana defence. Great goal!

10′ Important early touch for Itumeleng Khune who shows great confidence to punch clear from what looked a dangerous situation for the visitors.

6′ Lively start here by the hosts with Percy Tau and Themba Zwane causing the Teranga Lions problems. One feels that an early goal for South Africa would really set the pace.

1′ Kick-off in Polokwane!

– Senegal pose a significant threat especially in attack with Liverpool ace Sadio Mane having returned to full fitness.

– Itumeleng Khune starts tonight’s match despite suffering a facial injury last weekend. As a result, he dons a white mask this evening.

– The two teams lock horns exactly 12 months after Bafana Bafana’s 2-1 win over the Teranga Lions. A match which would later be scrapped following damning match manipulation evidence against Joseph Lamptey with tonight’s fixture the replay.



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South Africa, Senegal set for Polokwane re-match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal tackled by Andile Jali of South Africa during 2018 World Cup Qualifiers match between South Africa and Senegal at Peter Mokab Stadium, November on the 12 November 2016 © Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 14:00



South Africa and Senegal will lock horns in a crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

The match is a reply of the fixture played 12 months ago, with the 2-1 win for South Africa wiped from the record books following damning match manipulation evidence against Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey.

FIFA duly ordered for the game to replayed, with the rescheduled match to take place this weekend before the reverse fixture in Dakar next Tuesday.

Senegal currently top Group D with eight points from four matches and will book their place at a world showpiece for only the second time with victory on South African soil.

As for their hosts, Bafana Bafana need to win home and away if they are to seal a spot at a World Cup for a fourth time. Heading into their penultimate fixture, South Africa currently occupy bottom spot in Group D despite a 3-1 win over Burkina Faso last time out.

Senegal moved into pole position with victory away to Cape Verde last month. The Island nation had beaten South Africa home and away, and like the Stallions they too still have a chance of reaching Russia.

Liverpool star Sadio Mane is set to be fit for this weekend’s clash, but despite the obvious threat posed by the West African’s, Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter is confident his troops can do the required job.

“We will plan our game regardless of who is in the opposition team; we will make them uncomfortable on the day and play to win,” Baxter said.

“We need to find the right balance to unsettle Senegal and the issue of Mane doesn’t bother me a bit.

“We need to give Senegal the respect they deserve but that should be enough; we need to go for them big time,” he concluded.

South Africa are sweating on the fitness of both Itumeleng Khune and Andile Jali for the clash, while both Thulani Serero and Hlompho Kekana are set to miss the encounter.

The reverse fixture at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor is set to take place on Tuesday 14 November.



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South Africa suffer huge blow – Itumeleng Khune remains doubtful for Senegal clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs 2016©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 15:30


South African national team coach Stuart Baxter will have a headache regarding the crisis in the Bafana Bafana goalkeeping department.

Bafana were dealt a huge blow when Kaizer Chiefs and national team goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune suffered an injury in a local league game against Chippa United on Sunday.

‘Itu’ collided with Chippa’s Kurt Lentjies in their 1-0 win and was rushed to a hospital in Port Elizabeth where a scan was taken to determine the extent of the goalkeeper’s injury.

According to a statement from the Soweto giants, Khune was discharged from the hospital later on Sunday evening.

However, he remains a doubt for Bafana as they will face Senegal in their two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this weekend.

“The captain has a fracture to a bone in his face,” confirms Kaizer Chiefs physiotherapist David Milner.

“He will see a specialist as soon as possible and we will update thereafter.”

The 1996 African champions will need Khune as they have to bag six points from the two matches against the Lions of Teranga to book a spot in Russia at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Baxter will now prepare with SuperSport United‘s Ronwen Williams and Orlando Pirates’ Wayne Sandilands as he awaits for Khune’s medical report.



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Bitter? Duarte says Senegal has everything to lose against SA – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 11:00


Burkina Faso head coach Paulo Duarte is still unhappy with FIFA’s decision to order a replay between Senegal and South Africa.

Before FIFA ordered a replay of the original South Africa versus Senegal match last September, Burkina Faso were in control of their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying group.

A replay was ordered after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) had upheld the lifetime ban of Ghanaian match referee Joseph Lamptey, who was in charge during South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in Polokwane last year.

Senegal have since replaced Burkina Faso at the top of Group D standings and they will take on fourth-placed South Africa in their last two matches in the next few days.

“Even if we still have to keep hope,” Duarte was quoted on Press Afrik as saying,

“Burkina Faso no longer has its destiny in hand, because of the situation created by FIFA in favor of Senegal.

Second-placed Burkina Faso and third-placed Cape Verde are scheduled to lock horns in their last Group D match which will be played in Ouagadougou on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.

“We have nothing to lose because FIFA has taken everything away,” he added.

“Where Senegal has everything to lose, because South Africa can qualify with two victories.”

Burkina Faso can only qualify for the World Cup if they beat Cape Verde and the results between South Africa, and Senegal go their way.



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Balde: My heart told me to choose Senegal over Spain – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Joseph Ebogo of Cameroon is challenged by Keita Balde of Senegal during the Afcon Quarter Final match between Senegal and Cameroon on the 28 January 2017 at Franceville , Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 12:00


Senegalese international forward Keita Balde Diao has disclosed that it was his heart that told him to choose the Lions of Teranga over the Spain national team.

The highly attacker was born in Arbúcies, Catalonia, Spain to Senegalese parents and he came up through the FC Barcelona‘s youth academy.

Keita, who joined Monaco-based side AS Monaco from Italian club Lazio in August, 2017, was eligible to play for Spain, but he chose to play for his father’s country, Senegal.

“I waited for a Spain call-up but then my heart told me to play for Senegal,” Balde told L’Equipe.

“I took this decision after discussing it with my parents and to me, it was an unbelievable feeling to play my first game for the national team in front of my family.

The 22-year-old is already enjoying life at Monaco having scored three goals in six French Ligue 1 matches.

“When I came to Italy, at 16, I learned things that aren’t taught in Spain, the physical and tactical parts of football,” he continued.

“I wanted to leave Lazio, experience a new football style, know different people. I have followed Ligue 1 and Monaco last season, they did great in the league and in the Champions League.

“My friend Benjamin Mendy, whom I talked to before signing, also spoke highly of the club.”



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Baxter: SA need to play smart against Senegal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 11:00


South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter says his charges will have to play smart against Senegal.

The two African sides will lock horns in back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this month.

Senegal and South Africa are the only sides with a game in hand in Group D ahead of the final round.

Nicknamed the Lions of Teranga, Senegal are sitting at the top of group standings, while fourth-placed South Africa can only qualify for the finals if they win both games.

“We will have to pick our way through them,” Baxter told the South African media.

“They have some fine defenders and have some midfielders that can press the ball and they have front players who can do stuff on their own,” the British tactician said.

“Our movement has to move their defenders around. to unbalance them will be really, really important.”

The Lions of Teranga will qualify if they overcome Bafana Bafana in the first match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Friday, 10 November 2017.

The return leg clash is scheduled to take place at the Stade Léopold Sédar Senghor in the capital city of Senegal, Dakar on Tuesday, 14 November 2017.



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Zungu cleared to take on Senegal in Dakar – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Bongani Zungu of South Africa is challenged by Bayala Cyrille Barros of Burkina Faso 2018 World Cup qualifier football match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the 7 October 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 12:00


Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu, 25, has been cleared to face Senegal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Dakar on 14 November, but will sit out of the reverse fixture in Polokwane four days earlier (10 November).

South Africa take on the Teranga Lions in crucial back-to-back FIFA World Cup qualifiers this month, with victory in both fixtures to book Stuart Baxter and his troops’ ticket to Russia.

The Fifa Disciplinary Committee (DC) decided against imposing a further ban on the French-based midfielder with Safa having appealed his sending off. Zungu, though, has been fined.

“Zungu is suspended for one match, including automatic suspension, after breaching Fifa Disciplinary Code during a match against Burkina Faso,” said Fifa in a statement.

BORUSSIA DORTMUND LINING UP PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG REPLACEMENT?

Zungu had been included in Baxter’s 25-man squad to face Senegal in back-to-back qualifiers, pending the Fifa DC outcome.



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Klopp: Mane ready to play for Senegal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Liverpool star Sadio Mane

by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 09:00


Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Sadio Mane should be ready to face South Africa in crucial back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this month.

There were fears that the Senegal international would have to sit out of the upcoming home and away qualifiers after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Teranga Lions last month, but Mane has returned to training and could feature for his club this weekend.

Klopp stated at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon that the forward could play 20-25 minutes off the bench at West Ham United this on Saturday.

KENYAN SUPERSTAR VICTOR WANYAMA RESUMES TRAINING AT TOTTENHAM

“We’re trying to get in touch with the Senegal FA. Sadio is not injured anymore, but is he 100% fit? That’s different,” Klopp said.

“The ideal situation is that he doesn’t play the second game. If he can play for Senegal, I think he should – good for rhythm,” he concluded.

The 25-year-old has scored three goals in five Premier League games for the Merseyside club in a season that so far been disrupted by injury and suspension.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Sadio Mane – Is Senegal relying too much on him? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho celebrate a goal for Liverpool

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 16:00


Manager Jurgen Klopp is feeling the heat at Liverpool as they are struggling following the absence of Senegal star Sadio Mane’s injury.

The Lions of Teranga attacker sustained a hamstring injury as he was part of the squad participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Cape Verde earlier this month.

Mane suffered a hamstring strain and remains doubtful for the two upcoming games against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on November 10 and 14.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG – AFRICA’S BEST WILL NOT DAZZLE RUSSIA

However, coach Aliou Cisse has released his squad for the two back to back clashes and has included the Reds hitman.

Cisse knows the role the of the 25-year-old and the impact he brings to the squad, but will it be beneficial or risky to use him against the 1996 African champions?

The West Africans are under pressure to clinch a spot at the global showpiece in Russia and Mane is one of their key players to ensure that dream becomes a reality.

Now a question will come up from many football pundits, is Cisse relying too much on Mane? Because using him whilst nursing an injury could have serious consequences on his career.

On the other hand, some in the South African football circles have rejoiced over Mane’s injury and even said it is a blessing in disguise.

The match is fast approaching, but does this mean Bafana must be concerned with his inclusion in the squad for the two duels?



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Kalidou Koulibaly – Will his move to the EPL benefit Senegal? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 13:00


Senegal and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly could see his future decided in the next two months with England his next possible destination.

The Lions of Teranga stalwart has been linked with a move away from the Italian Serie A giants and reports have surfaced that he is wanted once again in the English Premier League.

Southampton are said to have rekindled their interest in the defender and will table an offer in January.

GHANA U-17 GOALKEEPER APOLOGIES FOR ERROR IN QUARTERFINAL LOSS

Although they failed to lure him last summer, the Saints are eyeing the 26-year-old as Virgil van Dijk’s replacement who is wanted by Liverpool among other clubs.

With coach Aliou Cisse’s men set to face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in two 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers next month, Koulibaly is expected to be key in their quest to reach Russia.

If Southampton sign him in January, the West Africans will receive a huge boost to have another player in the EPL ahead of the World Cup (which they are also favourites to qualify for).

On the other hand, having announced that he doesn’t regret choosing Senegal over France early this year, the centre back will eye a spot at the global tournament to represent his nation and possibly face the Les Bleus.

Koulibaly’s move to the EPL will definitely come as a plus for the West Africans, but that will all depend on the negotiations between the two clubs considering he is a key figure at Napoli.



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Sadio Mane will be fit for South African showdown – Senegal coach – Premier League 2017/2018


Ferjani Sassi of Tunisia challenges Sadio Mane of Senegal during the Afcon Group B match between Tunisia and Senegal on the 15 January 2017 at Franceville Stadium, Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 15:00


Senegal head coach ,Aliou Cisse, is more than confident that Liverpool star Sadio Mane will be fit for the country’s back-to-back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against South Africa next month.

According to reports, Mane has been included in the Lions of Teranga’s squad for the double-header against Bafana Bafana, despite the Liverpool attacker currently nursing a hamstring injury.

“In my mind there’s no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa and that he will be 100% fit,”Cisse is quoted as saying.

“Until now, he has just been doing some individual training – running in straight lines – but from next week, he is going to train harder and start working with the ball.”

It is unclear when the 25-year-old is set to return to action with the Reds initialing predicting that he will spend up to six weeks on the sidelines.

The former Southampton winger picked up said injury in Senegal’s 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia earlier this month, as the West African’s moved top of Group D.

Senegal, who are aiming to qualify for he World Cup for only the second time, face South Africa in Polokwane before the reverse fixture in Dakar a few days later.

Cisse captained Senegal to a quarterfinal place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea/Japan.



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Senegal include Liverpool star Sadio Mane for South Africa clash – Premier League 2017/2018


Sadio Mane of Senegal Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 13:30


Senegal have announce their squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against South Africa and they have included the injured Liverpool forward Sadio Mane.

Mane has been included despite his existing hamstring strain after he was douubtful for the home and away games against Bafana Bafana on November 10 and 14 respectively.

Liverpool said the forward could be out for up to six weeks on October 10 after he damaged his hamstring in their 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Praia.

“In my mind there’s no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa and that he will be 100% fit,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse to BBC.

“Until now, he has just been doing some individual training – running in straight lines – but from next week, he is going to train harder and start working with the ball.”

Cisse’s men need two points from their remaining two qualifiers to ensure their passage to next year’s finals in Russia.

The Lions of Teranga initially lost 2-1 to Stuart Baxter’s men in Polokwane last year, but FIFA ordered a replay after finding Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey guilty of match manipulation.

The replayed game will take place in South Africa on 10 November, with Dakar set to host the final qualifier four days later.



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Late goals help Senegal beat Cape Verde – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Keita Balde of Senegal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 21:53


Senegal defeated Cape Verde 2-0 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde on Saturday.

As a result, Senegal move to the top of the group standings, while Cape Verde are placed third on the table.

Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha and Senegal shot-stopper Khadim Ndiaye were both called into action in the first few minutes of the game.

Vozinha made a comfortable save from Idrissa Gueye’s free-kick, before Ndiaye pulled off a great save to deny Garry Rodrigues.

Senegal striker Diafra Sakho then tried to beat Vozinha from range, but the West Ham United player’s effort went over the crossbar.

Caper Verde captain Marco Soares and Senegal striker Balde Keita Diao both had their long range shots saved by Ndiaye and Vozinha respectively.

The two WAFU teams were locked at 0-0 during the half-time break in Praia, the capital city of Cape Verde.

Vozinha had to produce two good saves to deny Papa Ndiaye and Diao after the restart as Senegal searched for the opening goal.

Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes reacted by introducing Nuno Rocha, who inspired his nation to a 2-1 home win over South Africa last month, in the 65th minute.

However, the visitors continued to dominate the match and they scored through Diafra Sakho, who beat Vozinha from close range in the 82nd minute to making it 1-0 to Senegal.

Senegal’s 2-0 victory was sealed by second-half substitute Cheikh Ndoye, who netted with a long range effort in stoppage-time.

Cape Verde (0) 0

Senegal (0) 2 (Sakho 82′, Ndoye 90+2′)

Cape Verde XI: Vozinha, Stopira, Varela, Babanco, Soares (Olivera 85′), Heldon (Rocha 65′), Rodrigues (Gomes 78′), Perreira, Ponck, Mendes, Almeida.

Senegal XI: Ndiaye; Wague, Mbodj, Koulibaly, Mbengue; Gueye, Kouyaté, P.Ndiaye (Niang 62′); Keita Baldé (Guette 82′), Sakho, Mané (Ndoye 89′).



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2018 FIFA WCQ: Cape Verde 0-0 Senegal – LIVE – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Sadio Mane of Senegal reacts in disappointment for missing a penalty during the Afcon Quarter Final match between Senegal and Cameroon on the 28 January 2017 at Franceville , Gabon Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 19:43


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification (CAF) Group D match between Cape Verde and Senegal at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia.

Line-ups:

Cape Verde XI: Vozinha, Stopira, Varela, Babanco, Soares, Nhuck, Rodrigues, Perreira, Ponck, Mendes, Almeida.

Senegal XI: Ndiaye; Wague, Mbodj, Koulibaly, Mbengue; Gueye, Kouyaté, P.Ndiaye; Keita Baldé, Sakho, Mané.

Commentary:

60′ – CHANCE! Senegal midfielder P.Ndiaye fires straight at Cape Verde keeper Vozinha, who denies him.

55′ – It is still 0-0 here in Praia as we approach the hour-mark.

50′ – Cape Verde fail to capitalize after Senegal keeper Ndiaye had dropped the ball inside the box.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Cape Verde 0-0 Senegal.

45′ – The fourth official has added two minutes.

40′ – Cape Verde captain Soares finds some space outside the Senegal box and he forces keeper Ndiaye into a comfortable save.

35′ – Senegal’s talisman Mane has been tightly marked by the Cape Verde defence thus far.

30′ – It remains goalless here in Praia as we reach the half-hour mark.

25′ – Senegal striker Sakho fires over the crossbar from outside the Cape Verde box.

20′ – Cape Verde’s talisman Mendes has been lively for the hosts thus far keeping the Senegal defence busy.

15′ – It’s end-to-end stuff as the two sides look for the opening goal.

10′ – GREAT SAVE! Mendes sets up his Cape Verde team-mate Rodrigues, who is denied by Senegal goalkeeper Ndiaye.

5′ – Senegal midfielder Gueye’s long range effort from a free-kick is easily saved by Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha.

1′ – The match is underway.



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Against Cape Verde we’ll be ready for a fight – Senegal coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Aliou Cisse, coach of Senegal

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 17:00


Senegal must be ready for a fight when they take on Cape Verde in a 2018 World Cup qualifier this weekend, according to coach Aliou Cisse.

The Teranga Lions are placed third in Group D but have their fate very much in their own hands: if they win all three of their remaining games (including the re-match against South Africa after their away loss in November last year was annulled) then they will top the group and qualify for Russia 2018.

Much of the attention has fallen on the back-to-back games against SA coming up next month which will be key to Senegal’s fate, but coach Cisse knows that the immediate task of beating the Blue Sharks in their own back yard will not be easy.

“Before we talk about the match against South Africa, for which we will have time to think, I believe that there is first the stage of Praia that must be negotiated with the team Cape Verde . Today, our energy, our thought, our knowledge, we must put them for this match,” Cisse is quoted by APS.

“They (the Cape Verdeans) have every chance like us, like Burkina Faso and South Africa, to be able to go to Russia,” he said, adding that “it will be necessary to whip, to fight”.

“I see players ready to go to the fight and to realise this feat which is to go a second time to the World Cup,” concluded Cisse, who was a part of the famous class of 2002 which debuted at the global tournament.

The Cape Verde v Senegal match will be held at the National Stadium in Praia on Saturday evening, kick-off at 19h30 CAT.



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Senegal star Diafra Sakho: We’ll see what January brings – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


West Ham’s Diafra Sakho celebrates after scoring.

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 02, 2017. 19:00


Senegal striker Diafra Sakho has hinted that he may be on his way out of West Ham United when the transfer window reopens in January.

The Teranga Lions attacker wanted to the leave the Hammers before the start of the 2017/18 season, but was unable to secure a transfer.

The 27-year-old old has yet to start a Premier League match this term, but this past weekend he came off the bench to score the only goal in a crunch win over Swansea City.

After his last-gasp strike against the Swans, Sakho hinted that January could bring a change in his career path.

“It’s not easy to prove to the people what I can do on the pitch when I only play for 10 minutes,” said the Senegal striker.

“But I don’t need to knock on the manager’s door – he knows what I can do, now I have to force my way into the team. I just want to enjoy being part of this team and we will see what happens in January.”

Sakho will now turn his attention to Senegal’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Saturday.



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Cape Verde are an open book, says Senegal coach – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Senegal coach Aliou Cisse

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Sep 25, 2017. 12:00


Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse says he knows what to expect from Cape Verde ahead of their clash in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification Group D match.

The Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, who are placed second in Group D, beat South Africa 2-1 both home and away earlier this month.

“There’s nothing to hide. We know what they have, they also know what we will take, ” Cisse told the Senegalese News Agency (APS).

The match between Senegal’s Lions of Teranga and Cape Verde will be played at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on 7 October 2017.

“The stadium in Praia is very windy, but during the two or three days of training in Saly, South Senegal, we will train in a field with synthetic turf,” he added.

Senegal, who are placed third in Group D, drew with group leaders Burkina Faso both home and away earlier this month.

Burkina Faso and Cape Verde both have six points and the former have a better goal-difference with two games left. Senegal and South Africa have five points and one point respectively.

The Lions of Teranga and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana both have a game in hand and they will meet in a Group D rematch in November 2017.

Only the group winners will qualify for next year’s World Cup finals which are scheduled to be hosted by Russia.



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Former French juniors Niang & Sabaly called up by Senegal – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Keita Balde of Senegal during the 2017 African Cup of Nations Finals Afcon football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 19 January 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 21, 2017. 14:00


Former French junior internationals M’Baye Niang and Youssouf Sabaly have been called up by Senegal coach Aliou Cisse for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde.

The Teranga Lions will face the Blue Sharks in Praia on October 7 and Cisse has named a powerful 26-man squad.

Niang, who is currently on loan at Torino from AC Milan, has previously rejected call-ups from Senegal but remains eligible to switch his international allegiance.

Bordeaux defender Sabaly won the Under-20 World Cup with France in 2013, while a third rookie hoping to make his debut for Senegal is Alfred Gomis, a former Italy youth international goalkeeper.

The likes of Sadio Mane, Idrissa Gueye, Kalidou Koulibaly and Keita Balde have made the cut for the squad, though there is no place for Mame Biram Diouf and Pape Souare, with the latter having finally returned from a long injury layoff.

Senegal squad:

Goalkeepers: Khadim Ndiaye (Horoya, Guinea), Alfred Gomis (SPAL 2013, Italy), Clement Diop (LA Galaxy, United States)

Defenders: Moussa Wague (Eupen, Belgium), Lamine Gassama (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Fallou Diagne (Metz, France), Saliou Ciss (SCO Angers, France), Kara Mbodj (Anderlecht, Belgium), Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli, Italy), Youssouf Sabaly (Bordeaux, France), Adama Mbengue (Caen, France)

Midfielders: Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, England), Pape Alioune Ndiaye (Galatasaray, Turkey), Cheikhou Kouyate (West Ham United, England), Cheikh Ndoye (Birmingham City, England), Alfred Ndiaye (Wolves, England), Salif Sane (Hannover, Germany), Assane Diousse (Sainte-Etienne, France)

Forwards: Diao Balde Keita (Monaco, France), Moussa Konate (Amiens, France), Moussa Sow (Al Ahly Dubai, UAE), Ismaila Sarr (Rennes, France), Opa Nguette (Metz, France), Diafra Sakho (West Ham United, England), M’Baye Niang (Torino, Italy), Sadio Mane (Liverpool, England)



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Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire crash out of WAFU – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017


Jimoh Sherif Olatunde of Ivory Coast challenged by Assane Mbodj of Senegal during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Senegal and Ivory Coast at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 19 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 22:24


Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire only have themselves to blame after crashing out of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations following their goalless draw in their final Group B game at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Tuesday, September 19.

Senegal came out the blocks firing and created the first chance on goal in the opening minute when Assane Mbodji met a cross from the right, showing good skill to bring it under control before shooting wide from 14-yards out.

The action quickly switched to the other end of the field when Ivorian Babou Diarra saw his powerful long range free-kick brilliantly saved by the keeper in the fifth minute.

The next opportunity in front of goal only came in the 25th minute when Daouda Dieme cut into the Cote d’Ivoire box from the left flank, beating two defenders before firing inches wide.

On the half hour mark the Elephants tried their luck from distance again, this time Fulgence Aka Essis with a stinging 30-yard effort which was superbly saved by Pape Diatta Ndiaye.

The last chance of the opening stanza fell to Senegal in the 40th minute when Daouda Dieme created more chaos down the left flank as he worked his way into the box again, but he saw his 14-yard shot tipped around the post by an acrobatic Ivorian keeper.

The half ended 0-0.

The start of the second half started slowly with the first effort on goal only coming on the hour mark when Cote d’Ivoire’s Willie Britto let loose with a 24-yard pile-driver, but his attempt was well-saved.

Seven minutes later it was Senegal’s chance to try break the deadlock from distance with captain Jean Remi Bocande’s thunderbolt stinging the hands of the Elephants keeper.

In the 77th minute Renardo Gonazo should have given the Teranga Lions the lead when he met a corner with a strong header, but under no pressure his attempt shaved the wrong side of the upright.

Both teams pushed hard for a winner in the final ten minutes, but neither could find a goal as they settled for a share of the spoils.

The result sees them both exit the tournament as Cote d’Ivoire occupy bottom place in Group B with two points while Senegal are third on four points, the same as Niger but who are below them because of their head-to-head in the competition.

Benin progress as group leaders with six points after beating Niger 2-1.

Senegal (0) 0

Cote d’Ivoire (0) 0

Teams

Senegal coach: Moustapha Seck

Senegal: 16. P Ndiaye, 4. Matar Kante, 3.Kane , 9. Diene, 5. Mendy (12. Mamadou 80’), 11. Dieme, 6. Oumar, 13. Bocande, 17. Badiane, 22. Mbodj, 18. A Ndiaye (10. Marone 65’).

Cote d’Ivoire coach: Ibrahima Kamara

Cote d’Ivoire: 1. Ble Zadi, 2. Britto, 4. Ouattara, 13. Konan, 14. Jimoh, 8. Diarra (12. Cissoko 89), 3. Gonazo (15. N’Guessan 63’), 10. Diabate, 5. Aka Essis, 9. Bi N’Guessan (11. Guiagon 72’), 7. Gnangbo.



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