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Senegal edge Uganda to sneak into quarterfinals

Uganda’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango (below) fouls Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (C) during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Uganda and Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on July 5, 2019.
JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ 0 Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ 1
Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ 1 (4) Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 1 (1)

Cairo, Egypt | AFP |ย Sadio Mane became the leading scorer in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Friday when he scored the goal that gave Senegal a 1-0 win over Uganda in a feisty last-16 clash.

The Liverpool star struck on 15 minutes with a close-range shot after a passing move carved open the Ugandan defence in Cairo.

Mane later missed a penalty — the second time he has fluffed a spot-kick in as many matches — but his three-goal tally from three matches moved him ahead of 11 scorers with two each.

In the quarter-finals, Senegal will face fellow west Africans Benin, who stunned Morocco earlier, winning a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw following extra time.

A fiery start at the Cairo International Stadium to the second last-16 match saw two Ugandans and one Senegalese yellow-carded within 10 minutes of the kick-off.

Uganda captain and goalkeeper Denis Onyango was first to be booked after racing off his line and fouling Ismaila Sarr, who needed lengthy treatment.

Giant Uganda forward Emmanuel Okwi was the next offender with his elbow brushing the face of Senegal centre-back and captain Cheikhou Kouyate.

Senegal midfielder Papa Ndiaye then went into the book of the referee for deliberately pushing a Ugandan so hard he tumbled off the pitch.

As tempers cooled, Senegal scored through Mane, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot last season with Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal.

A Ugandan pass was intercepted and two quick, slick passes sent Mane clear to fire left-footed past Onyango, one of the top goalkeepers in Africa.

– Blatant foul –

On 18 minutes, Uganda lost centre-back Hassan Wasswa after he injured his left hamstring and Timothy Awany took his place.

Midfielder Khalid Aucho became the third Ugandan to be yellow-carded, for a blatant foul, and Okwi was lucky to escape a second caution and a red card later in the half.

There were more cards than goal attempts on target in the opening 45 minutes, which ended with Senegal comfortably retaining a one-goal advantage.

The match not only lacked goalmouth excitement, but also atmosphere with a crowd of just a few thousand dotted around the 75,000 stadium, where the final will be played on July 19.

Scorching heat, costly tickets and a lack of interest by Egyptians in teams other than their own Pharaohs are some of the reasons for the poor attendances.

Senegal had a great chance to double their lead when Mane was fouled by Onyango, but the Liverpool star failed to convert the penalty, a fate he also suffered against Kenya.

He aimed for the right corner, but Onyango guessed correctly and made a brilliant two-hand save to keep the Cranes in the match.

Senegal centre-back and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly was the fifth player to be booked as an intensely physical encounter entered the final quarter.

As free-kicks were continually conceded, Uganda had several opportunities to equalise and came close on 80 minutes when goalkeeper Alfred Gomis pushed away an Allan Kateregga effort.

Morocco crash out to Benin on penalties in Cup of Nations last 16

Hakim Ziyech’s missed stoppage-time spot-kick proved extremely costly as 10-man Benin stunned Africa Cup of Nations title contenders Morocco in a penalty shootout Friday to reach the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw in Cairo.

Moise Adilehou forced home at a corner early in the second half to put Benin on course for a shock win but Youssef En-Nesyri equalised for Morocco before Ajax star Ziyech blew the chance to snatch victory by striking the post from the spot in the 96th minute.

Benin were forced to play most of extra time a man down after Khaled Adenon received a second yellow card for dissent, but they prevailed 4-1 in the shootout following misses by Sofiane Boufal and En-Nesyri to set up a clash with Senegal or Uganda on July 10 for a spot in the semi-finals.

“It’s not the right time to talk about anything,” said Morocco boss Herve Renard, after possibly his final game in charge. “The only thing I would like to say is thank you very much to all the fans who came to Egypt to support us.

“I’m a bit ashamed in front of them, and especially about all the people who were supporting us since more than three years.

“You know in life of course, some people are against you, but this is life. You just have to look forward and only remember the positive things.”

Morocco suffered a troubled build-up to the tie at Al Salam Stadium with captain and key defender Medhi Benatia lost to injury while Benin were without forward Steve Mounie due to suspension.

The Atlas Lions had been clinical, determined and efficient so far in Egypt, mirroring the beliefs of Renard, the only coach to win the Cup of Nations with two countries.

Benin, winless in 12 previous matches in the competition, only scraped through to the knockout rounds on the back of three draws after holding both Ghana and reigning champions Cameroon.

En-Nesyri and Ziyech both produced saves in a dreary first half from Saturnin Allagbe, who kept his place in the Benin goal after replacing Fabien Farnolle for the final group game.

– Adilehou strikes first –
Younes Belhanda skewed wide for Morocco shortly after the restart but it was Benin who grabbed a surprise lead when Adilehou broke clear of his marker to turn in a corner on 54 minutes, the Squirrels’ first goal since their opening game in Egypt.

Substitute Boufal nearly levelled with his first touch after coming off the bench on the hour, meeting Nordin Amrabat’s cross with a downward header that skipped off the grass and flashed just over the top.

A mistake from Jordan Adeoti presented Morocco with the equaliser on 75 minutes, as he was caught in possession on the edge of his area by Mbark Boussoufa who squared for En-Nesyri to stroke beyond Allagbe.

Ziyech stung the palms of Allagbe with a free-kick while Boussoufa, who scored a last-gasp winner in the 1-0 victory over South Africa, also saw his set-piece superbly clawed away by the Benin ‘keeper.

After a quiet start to the tournament Ziyech looked destined to finally deliver when Benin captain Stephane Sessegnon upended Achraf Hakimi deep into stoppage time, but the winger smacked his spot-kick against the base of the post.

Adenon’s bizarre dismissal, ostensibly for brushing the referee away as he attempted to tend to a cramping team-mate, gave Morocco the numerical advantage but Ziyech again squandered an opportunity to send his side through as he blazed over a cutback from Boussoufa.

Morocco were left to count the cost of those misses as Boufal blazed over Morocco’s second attempt in the shootout before Allagbe tipped En-Nesyri’s effort onto the bar, leaving Mama Seibou to fire Benin into the last eight.

One comment

  1. cherop kelly calvin

    Uganda should include all tripes in foot ball

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