Senegal dominated and defeated Tanzania 2-0 to go top of Group C after Keita Balde and Krépin Diatta scored in both halves.
M’Baye Niang could have shot Senegal into the lead early in the game when he squandered two great scoring opportunities in the space of 5minutes.
Kalidou Koulibaly rose up above everyone to head a delivery from Keita Baldé but that wouldn’t trouble goalkeeper Aishi Manula.
Senegal was forced to bring on Cheikhou Kouyaté in the 23rd minute for Salif Sané who suffered an injury in the cause of the game. Keita Baldé broke the deadlock after driving home a shot into the bottom corner to put Senegal in the lead in the 26th minute. Senegal could have made it two after Keita Baldé found Ismaïla Sarr at the far end who set up Idrissa Gueye in the 6 yard box but the midfielder fluffed the chance by looping his ball over the bar. A scrappy defending by Tanzania gifted Senegal a goal which was waved off by the referee after he spotted an infringement in the box.
Badou Ndiaye’s overhead kick from a Keita Baldé’s cross could not result in a goal as Tanzania were let off the hook. Tanzania Coach Emmanuel Emunike made a first half substitution by bringing on Himid Mao for Vincent Phillipo who had already been cautioned by the referee.
Senegal however went into the break with an advantage having totally dominated the half with a goal to their credit.
Another perfect start from Senegal in the second half almost saw them getting the second when Krépin Diatta produced a fine header which was tipped over the bar by Tanzania shoot stopper Aishi Manula. M’Baye Niang minutes after headed just wide as the Taranga Lions kept pushing for the second goal. Keita Baldé did not have the best of connections despite finding himself at a great position to score in the 53rd minute.
Tanzania looked to be mere passengers in the game as they struggled to string passes together. Krépin Diatta grabbed the second for Senegal with a thunderbolt strike in the 65th minute after meeting a loose ball from the edge of the penalty box and pulled a trigger from distance. M’Baye Niang once again could not find the back of the net after he failed to connect from 6 yards Ismaïla Sarr’s pass.
Senegal’s first goal scorer Keita Baldé was pulled off for Sada Thioub in the 73rd minute in what clearly showed Aliou Cissé’s eye for more goals. M’Baye Niang was finally substituted for Moussa Konate after a frustrating night for the Stade Rennais man. Frank Domayo also came on for Feisal Salum as Tanzania tried to find a consolation. A superb surging run from Ismaila Sarr saw his execution flashing across the face of goal.
Senegal thus go top of the Group after amid a game between Algeria and Kenya which comes off later tonight.
By Frank Darkwah