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Sadio Mane and Henri Saivet's stunner send Senegal through

Mane and Saivet's stunner send Senegal through

19/01/2017 at 17:47Updated 19/01/2017 at 21:24

Africa Cup of Nations Group B, Stade de Franceville - Senegal 2 (Mane 9, Saivet 14) Zimbabwe 0

Goals from Sadio Mane and Henri Saivet were enough to see Senegal through to the next round of the Africa Cup of Nations, as they gave another impressive demonstration of their credentials as possible champions.

Senegal, knowing that a win would put them through as group winners following the defeat for Algeria at the hands of Tunisia, were in control from start to finish.

Mane got the ball rolling with a simple tap-in at the back post following a ball across goal from Balde Keita, which could well have been a shot.

Then Saivet smashed home a second from a free-kick within the first 15 minutes to pretty much kill the game.

From that moment on it was about Senegal seeing the game out - and they did so without too many problems.

Mane and co will top the group regardless of the result against Algeria because of their superior head-to-head record against Tunisia.

Video - Highlights: Sensational Saivet free-kick helps Senegal through

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TALKING POINT

Can anyone stop Senegal? Going into the tournament Senegal were most people's favourites, but the question mark was whether that big players would turn up? With two 2-0 wins it's safe to say that yes they have. Mane is the headline grabber and he's got two goals... but it's not all about the Liverpool man. Cheikhou Kouyate has led from the front as the captain and he has been truly excellent whilst Kara and Kalidou Koulibaly are rock solid at the back. Throw in the likes of Idrissa Gana Gueye, Balde Keita and Saivet and this is a Senegal team with talent all over the pitch. They are the team to beat right now.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Tatenda Mukuruva (Zimbabwe) So often people make lazy generalisations about the standard of goalkeeping in Africa but if it wasn't for Mukuruva then Zimbabwe could have lost by five or six. He made a number of good one-on-one stops from the likes of Mane and Keita and he is very comfortable catching the ball or using his feet. He's just 21 years of age and still playing in Zimbabwe, he could be a steal for someone in Europe if they're looking for a long-term goalkeeping option.

PLAYER RATINGS

Senegal - Diallo 5, Gassama 6, Kara 6, Koulibaly 6, M'Bengue 7, Saivet 7, Kouyate 8, Gana 6, Saivet 7, Keita 7, Mane 8, Diouf 5. Subs: Sow 5, Ndoye 5, Sarr 5

Zimbabawe - Mukuruva 8, Zvirekwi 4, Muroiwa 4, Nhamoinesu 5, Bhasera 5, Katsande 4, Nakamba 5, Rusike 5, Billiat 6, Mahachi 5, Mushekwi 6. Subs Rusike 5, Ndoro 5, Malajilaat 5.

Senegal's midfielder Henri Saivet celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group B football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe in Franceville on January 19, 2017

Senegal's midfielder Henri Saivet celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group B football match between Senegal and Zimbabwe in Franceville on January 19, 2017AFP

KEY MOMENTS

6' - CHANCE! What on earth are Zimbabwe doing there!? First there's a back heel from the centre-back and before you know Senegal have won the ball back and Diouf is away. Thankfully for Zimbabwe his chip over Mukuruva goes wide.

9' - GOAL! SENEGAL 1-0 ZIMBABWE (MANE) That's a very simple goal but a very well worked goal. Senegal win the ball back in midfield and Keita is slipped in down the left by Saivet. He fires the ball low to the back post and the main man Mane is there to tap it in, his second goal of the tournament.

14' - GOAL! SENEGAL 2-0 ZIMBABWE (SAIVET) OH THAT'S JUST FANTASTIC! Free-kick to Senegal now fairly central around 25-30 yards and it is hammered home by Saivet, that is fantastic! Terrific strike, keeper had no chance.

44' - CHANCE! That's the best chance Zimbabwe have had as Billiat is through down the left hand side of the penalty area. However he can't get any power from his shot and it's straight at Diallo.

69' - CHANCE! Well commentator's course and all that. Mane is played through and wiggles around one challenge. He tries to nutmeg Mukuruva and the keeper does well to save. Mane then tries again but Nhamoinesu heads it off the line.

KEY STATS

  • This is a repeat of the only previous AFCON encounter between these two, a 2006 group game which also saw Senegal win 2-0.
  • This is Senegal's second clean sheet in a row at AFCON after failing in their previous 14 games.
  • Sadio Mane has scored in his last three games (two for Senegal, one for Liverpool).
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