Goals in the second half in Thies helped the Teranga lions start their search for a place in next year’s showpiece with a comfortable home win
Liverpool talisman Sadio Mane opened the scoring and Paris Saint-Germain defender Abdou Diallo scored his first goal for Senegal in their 2-0 win over Togo.
It was Senegal’s first victory in their first qualifying match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on home soil.
Wednesday’s triumph was also a revenge for the Teranga Lions who punished the Sparrowhawks for preventing them from reaching the 2006 World Cup in Germany, after taking them to first place in the qualifiers.
After a goalless first half in the Stade Lat Dior, Mane continued his good score in the national team’s colors to put Aliou Cisse’s team ahead in the 56th minute.
The Liverpool talisman took his international score to 23 goals when he joined Henri Camara’s record of 31 goals for the West African nation.
Towards the end of the meeting, French-born Abdou Diallo broke his duck for the runners-up of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, when he doubled their lead by nine minutes.
Mane played all the time alongside PSG’s Idrissa Gueye, Diallo, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy were among the sticks to keep the hosts clean.
Meanwhile, Ismaila Sarr of Watford, Cheikhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace and Boulaye Dia of Villarreal have been replaced.
Senegal follow a trip to the Congo for their second Group H match on September 7, while Togo will focus their attention on hosting Namibia on Sunday after the disappointing defeat in Thies.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match, Togo coach Paulo Duarte described Aliou Cisse’s men as the favorites to advance from their squad to the last qualifying round later in November.
“This is a close group, and Senegal are starting with a slight advantage,” Duarte said. Fifa’s website. “They are currently the favorites and the best team in Africa. They have a lot of quality players. On paper, they are the team to beat in the group, although anything can happen in football.
‘The reality on the field, however, is different. Togo is in a transition phase, with many key players retiring over the past four years. We went from a team that was feared in Africa and reached 36 on the world rankings to one that now ranks 133rd. “