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Senegal beat South Africa to reach Russia 2018

By Mutala Yakubu
Liverpool's Sadio Mane had a hand in both goals as Senegal booked their place at Russia 2018

Senegal qualified for their second appearance at the World Cup finals, returning after a 16-year absence, with a clinical victory over a luckless South Africa at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Sadio Mane, who made an earlier-than-expected return from injury, was key to the Teranga Lions' victory.

He laid on a superb, defence-splitting pass for West Ham striker Diafra Sakho to slot past Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, giving Senegal the perfect start after 12 minutes.

The Liverpool winger then helped to seal the game for the West Africans seven minutes before half time.

His close range shot was saved by Khune, the loose ball fortuitously rebounding into the net off the head of defender Thamsanqa Mkhize, who was prone on the ground.