Senegal secured a 2-0 victory over Togo at the Lat Dior Stadium in Thies on Wednesday, in Group H’s opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Sadio Mane and Abdou Diallo scored the two goals for the Teranga Lions as they started their campaign for a ticket to Qatar on a high note.
The Senegalese had a bright start to the match and asked the first questions from the Sparrow Hawks.
Fifteen minutes into the game, Papa Matar Sarr should have done better with a pass off Gana Gueye, but his control let him down with good space in front of him.
Mane and Boulaye Dia were also threatening for the Senegalese, but they could not find the back of the net, as the two teams went to the break tied at 0-0.
Senegal came back with all claws on and they got into the lead in the 56th minute.
Mane, the 2019 CAF African Player of the year, played a quick interchange of passes with Dia before controlling the ball with his left and firing home on his right.
The Senegalese kept their command on the game but they had to wait till the 80th minute to seal the game.
Diallo hit the back of the net with a sumptuous shot on his national team debut.
The Senegalese, finalists at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) held on for the win to earn an advantage from matchday one.
Namibia and Congo will play in the other group match on Thursday.
Meanwhile, at Nouakchott’s Olympic Stadium in Mauritania, Guinea Bissau and Guinea played to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Group I fixture.
Guinea Bissau’s Djurtus have been forced to play their home matches in Mauritania.
This is because their home turf, the Estadio Nacional 24 de Setembro, is yet to pass the necessary approvals to host international matches.
In Nouakchott, Guinea Bissau found themselves trailing after seven minutes when Francois Kamano broke the deadlock for the Syli Nationale.
But Guinea Bissau gave a fight and just a minute into the second half got back into contention with the equaliser, coming off Joseph Mendes.
Morocco and Sudan, will play the group’s other match on Thursday.