A Sadio Mane penalty in stoppage time enabled title holders Senegal to defeat Rwanda 1-0 in their 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday.
The victory for the Teranga Lions ensured that the Africa champions have maximum points after two matches in Group L of the qualifiers for the tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.
With the last kick of the game, the Liverpool attacker converted the penalty to condemn Rwanda who were playing the home match at Abdoulaye-Wade Stadium in Diamniadio.
The Wasps succeeded in agreeing to play its home match at the stadium of their opponents and it nearly paid off as they held on for a very long time until Mane struck.
The England-based striker was brought down in the box after being set up by Saliou Ciss and the latter picked himself to dispatch the resultant kick with aplomb
With the exception of this last-minute mistake, Rwanda managed to thwart the Lions who did not have many opportunities.
In the first half-half, Senegal struggled to find a loophole against the well-organised Rwandan team that stood resolute.
Twice Pape Matar Sarr tried long shots, but never managed to threaten the opponent.
In the 51st on a quick counter, the Rwandan Rafael York hit an angled shot against the crossbar of the Lions goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy who hardly did any work.
Five minutes later a cross from Ballo-Touré forced a Rwandan defender to put the ball out , for a corner under the threat of Sadio Mané.
And the game was heading for draw when Ciss was brought down in the penalty area.
The penalty was converted by Mane to give the defending African champions six out of six points and put them at the top of their qualifying group.