Dia ensures Senegal's ticket to AFCON 2023

football28 March 2023 18:23| © Backpage TXT

Senegal became the third team to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after they beat Mozambique 1-0 at the Estadio do Zimpeto in Maputo on Tuesday evening.

Boulaye Dia's first-half goal proved the difference between the two nations on matchday 4 as Aliou Cisse's side made it four wins from four in Group L to go eight points clear of the Mambas.

Mozambique were targeting an improved performance on home soil after being hammered 5-1 in the away leg four days ago, while the Lions of Teranga looked to maintain their 100 per cent record in qualifying.

The reigning AFCON champions shaded the possession stakes in the first half and made better use of the ball, creating five chances while restricting Chiquinho Conde's team to just two of their own.

The hosts threatened early on though, as Domingos tested Alfred Gomis with a strike from range on seven minutes before Ivane was called into action at the other end four minutes later to deny Sadio Mane after he had been picked out inside the box by Iliman Ndiaye.

Pape Sarr then went close with a header that he directed just wide of the left post on 14 minutes from Ndiaye's cross but Senegal didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal, which arrived four minutes later.


Mane found Dia inside the box and the striker buried his shot into the bottom right corner of the net to register his sixth international goal.

Edmilson Dove nearly restored parity 11 minutes before half-time when he made contact with a corner-kick to steer his header narrowly wide of the left post.

The last bit of action in the first saw Idrissa Gueye force Ivane into a fine save with a strike from outside the area on 41 minutes as Senegal went into the break a goal to the good.

Veteran midfielder Elias Pelembe was introduced at the start of the second half and the substitute took two pops at goal from range early on but neither troubled Gomis.

Ndiaye almost doubled the visitors' lead on 67 minutes but his long-range effort flew agonisingly wide of the left post, while substitute Habib Diallo drew a decent save out of Ivane with another shot from distance in the 70th minute.

Mane had three good chances to extend Senegal's lead in the closing stages, although he only hit the target once. The winger flashed a shot just past the right post from inside the area on 76 minutes and worked the goalkeeper with another strike in the second minute of stoppage time before heading Diallo's cross beyond the left post shortly afterwards.

Mozambique 0

Senegal (1) 1 (Dia 18')

Mozambique: Ivane, Domingos, Mexer, Martinho (B. Langa 46'), E. Dove, Amadu, M. Kambala (E. Pelembe 46'), Shaquille, Witi (Melque 30'), S. Ratifo (I. Carvalho 78'), G. Vilanculos (C. Bauque 67').

Senegal: A. Gomis, Y. Sabaly (F. Mendy 66'), A. Seck, K. Koulibaly, M. Niakhate, P. Sarr (D. Lopy 64'), P. Ciss (N. Mendy 85'), I. Gueye, I. Ndiaye (K. Diatta 85'), B. Dia (H. Diallo 64'), S. Mane.