Cairo: Sadio Mane sent Senegal into the quarter finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, where they will meet a Benin team that dumped out Morocco to start the knockout stages with a major upset on Friday.
Mane scored early to give Senegal a 1-0 win over Uganda in their round-of-16 match at Cairo International Stadium. The Liverpool forward also had a second-half penalty saved, but it didn’t cost Senegal.
Mane has three goals in three games at the African Cup in Egypt — he’s also missed two penalties — and he’s threatening to upstage Liverpool teammate Mohammad Salah, the star of the host’s team.
Senegal will next face surprising Benin, which celebrated its first appearance in the knockouts with its first-ever win at the African Cup. Benin beat Morocco 4-1 on penalties after surviving a tumultuous time at Al Salam Stadium.
Benin scored first in regulation, gave up an equaliser to a foolish defensive error, and also conceded a penalty in injury time that Morocco forward Hakim Ziyach missed. Benin then had defender Abdou Adenon sent off in bizarre fashion early in extra time for showing dissent to the referee but survived to win the shoot-out.
Sofiane Boufal and Yousuf En-Nesyri missed their spot kicks for Morocco. Seibou Mama buried the decisive penalty to send the underdog into the quarters. Benin players and officials in suits sprinted across the field celebrating.
Morocco won all three of its group games and hadn’t conceded a goal before Friday. Benin lost eight out of nine games at the African Cup before this tournament and had never got past the group stage. It progressed to the last 16 this year with three draws in group play.
Moise Adilehou gave Benin the surprise lead in the 53rd minute when he stuck out a foot to volley home from a corner.
En-Nesyri equalised in the 76th and the Moroccans should have won it with their penalty five minutes into injury time at the end of the 90. Ziyach smacked the penalty off the post and Benin survived.
Benin 1 Morocco 1
(Benin win 4-1 on penalties)
Senegal 1 Uganda 0