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SENEGAL 3-1 CAMEROON – GOALS FROM ISMAILA SARR, HABIB DIALLO AND SADIO MANE SEND DEFENDING AFCON CHAMPIONS INTO LAST 16

SENEGAL 3-1 CAMEROON

Africa Cup of Nations holders Senegal are into the round of 16 of this year’s competition following a 3-1 win over Cameroon. Ismaila Sarr’s deflected strike put them ahead before Habib Diallo doubled their lead after the half-time break. Jean-Charles Castelletto pulled one back for Cameroon but Sadio Mane sealed the win in the dying moments of the match.

Defending champions Senegal clinched their place in the knockouts of the Africa Cup of Nations with a game to spare with a 3-1 win over Cameroon, who are at risk of elimination.
Goals by Ismaila Sarr, Habib Diallo and Sadio Mane ensured Aliou Cisse’s side secured a statement victory – their second of the tournament having seen off Gambia 3-0 in their opener.
Jean-Charles Castelletto’s header gave Cameroon hope but they could not find an equaliser, leaving The Indomitable Lions with just one point from two games in Group C.
There had not been a goal in this fixture since 1992 but it took just 16 minutes for the first to arrive in Yamoussoukro. Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana failed to cover himself in glory as his punch presented Sarr with a chance and his deflected effort nestled in the bottom corner.
Missing key strikers Vincent Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi, the latter named on the bench, Cameroon lacked a focal point, and tasked with breaking down a side that had only conceded once in their last eight group games, they struggled in their quest for a response.
Senegal doubled their advantage in the 71st minute when Sarr’s excellent cross put it on a plate for Diallo who was left with a simple tap in.
Cameroon failed to register a shot on target until the 83rd minute when defender Castelletto popped up with a header to give his side hope.
Former Tottenham midfielder Georges-Kevin N’Koudou almost snatched an unlikely equaliser for Cameroon but inexplicably headed wide from point-blank range, and in the next attack Mane’s precision finish made sure of the points.
The result means Senegal top the table with six points while Cameroon are third, ahead of Gambia who play Guinea later on Friday.
TALKING POINT – TOOTHLESS CAMEROON HAVE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
Five-time winners Cameroon are facing the embarrassment of being eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations at the group stage.
The obvious problem is a lack of goals throughout Rigobert Song’s team. Without 2022 Golden Boot winner Vincent Aboubakar, injured on the eve of the tournament, Cameroon lack a natural scorer. Karl Toko Ekambi, so often the striker they have relied on over the years, could only make the bench.
Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, cut a frustrated figure in the stands as the supporters inside the Charles Konan Banny Stadium jeered the players. There is still time to turn their predicament around – they will likely need to beat Gambia on Tuesday – but the signs suggest these are troubling times for the African heavyweights.
MAN OF THE MATCH – ISMAILA SARR (SENEGAL)
How Cameroon crave a player in the mould of the Marseille forward. The 25-year-old was a livewire throughout, finishing with a goal and his second assist of the tournament.
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