Liverpool hero Sadio Mane fired Senegal into the final of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations with a crucial insurance goal in the closing stages of their last-four meeting with Burkina Faso. The Reds ace ran the show for the Lions of Teranga, who survived a late scare to claim the all-important victory and set up a mouthwatering final against either Cameroon or Egypt.
Senegal were the pre-match favourites and were ultimately the better side on the day in an eventful contest that produced no shortage of controversy from the off.
They had two big penalty shouts turned down by VAR, with Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi being forced off with an injury after the events of the first.
The underdogs refused to lie down against their star-studded opponents, but it was Senegal who managed to break the deadlock when Abdou Diallo fired home from close range with 20 minutes remaining.
Mane then set up Idrissa Gueye to double his side’s advantage before Burkina Faso pulled one back through Blati Toure in the 82nd minute.
It looked for a moment as if Senegal would have had to work hard to retain their lead, but Mane’s lobbed finish with just three minutes remaining ensured their place in the final.
The Liverpool winger reaped the rewards of a calamitous error from two Burkina Faso defenders, who surrendered the ball to him as they bizarrely tackled each other outside their own penalty area.
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