Wednesday, May 18 2022

Sadio Mane hailed his Senegal teammates after they beat Burkina Faso 3-1 in Yaounde on Wednesday to reach their second consecutive Africa Cup of Nations final.

“It shows you the momentum we have. We knew it was not going to be at all easy to get to two straight AFCON finals, but the most important for us now is to go all the way and win it, whoever we come up against,” Mane said after scoring one goal and making another in the semi-final.

Abdou Diallo put Senegal ahead 20 minutes from time at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Cameroon’s capital, before Mane set up the second goal for Idrissa Gana Gueye.

He then netted the late third himself after Blati Toure had pulled a goal back.

“We were up against a really good Burkina side who caused us a lot of problems,” the Liverpool star added.

“We expected a tough game and it was but we stayed calm and created lots of chances. I think we deserved to win tonight.”

Mane, who now has three goals at the tournament, could not keep the smile off his face as he looked forward to the chance to win the trophy.

“I think you can see on my face how happy I am which is completely normal. I am really proud personally and very happy for myself, my teammates and the country.”

Africa’s top-ranked national team, Senegal lost to Algeria in the 2019 final in Egypt.

They will play either the hosts Cameroon or Egypt in Sunday’s final at the Olembe Stadium.

Those sides are the most successful nations in AFCON history with 12 titles between them, while Senegal have still never won the continental crown.

Asked who he preferred to face in the decider, Mane added: “We have no preference.”

as/mw

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