Home » Boulaye Dia’s solo seals Senegal’s place at AFCON 2023

Boulaye Dia’s solo seals Senegal’s place at AFCON 2023

by Lesley Ngwa

Boulaye Dia scored an early winner as defending Champions Senegal beat hosts Mozambique 1-0 at the Estadio Nacional de Zimpeto in Maputo to book their ticket for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Mozambique came into the contest hoping for an improved performance from the 5-1 defeat in the reversed fixture while Sadio Mane and his Senegalese colleagues knew a win would be enough to reach a 16th AFCON tournament, fifth in the spin.

Dia’s 18th minute goal was enough for Senegal to seal their fourth victory of the qualifier campaign which made them join the likes of Morocco, Algeria, South Africa and host Cote D’Ivoire in the finals.

Mane forced the first save of the afternoon from Ivan Francisco. Dia dazzled into a crowd of Mozambique defenders before pushing the ball to Mane in the penalty to drive it to the near post but the keeper put it away.

Senegal was pilling pressure on the host as Pape Sarr came to meet a cross from Dia but his header went inches off target.

The visitors recovered possession in midfield and picked Mane with Mozambique outnumbered in the recovery. The skipper picked Dia who made it 1-0 after 18 minutes.

The goal was the main highlight of the first segment as the rest of the first segment proved to be.

Cheikh Bardy Ndiaye put his laces behind the ball to hit a low shot which could have doubled the Teranga Lions’ advantage but it went narrowly off target.

Mane received a great through ball into the box 15 minutes from time but the Mozambique defence returned into shape to narrow the angle and forced him to shoot wide.

The Bayern man missed from close range header late on while Alfred Gomis made a fine save to deny Mozambique the equalizer in the last minutes of regulation time.

The game finished 1-0 in favour of the West Africans who completed a perfect campaign.

Senegal are certain of winning Group L, having amassed 12 points while second seeded Mozambique counts four points. Benin on the third spot with three points are on the road against bottom side Rwanda later tonight.

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