REPORT: Mane inspires Senegal to beat Tunisia
Sadio Mane scored one and made another as Senegal beat Tunisia 2-0 to go top of Africa Cup of Nations Group B.
After Algeria and Zimbabwe had drawn in the opening match of the pool and draws in the first two matches in Group A, Senegal claimed the first win of the tournament.
Mane scored from the penalty spot before delivering a corner from which Kara Mbodji netted.
Senegal had a 100 per cent record in qualifying for the finals and are the highest ranked African team in FIFA’s world rankings, at 33.
But they have one win from six matches in the last two tournaments, so few knew what to expect.
But they took an early lead when Aymen Abdennour brought down Cheikhou Kouyate as he latched on to Mane’s pass. And Mane converted from the penalty spot after 10 minutes.
Senegal had a second after 30 minutes when Mane centred a set-piece and Mbodji leapt to meet it, sending in a powerful header.
Tunisia had plenty of opportunities, too, with Naim Sliti pulling the strings.
Wahbi Khazri and Ahmed Akaichi went close before Syam Ben Yousef headed wide.
Youssef Msekni had another opportunity, but time and again Tunisia were frustrated by poor finishing and the interventions of Senegal goalkeeper Abdoulaye Diallo.
Tunisia finally found the net in the 90th minute, but Msekni’s strike was ruled out for offside as Senegal triumphed.