Sadio Mane scored a 98th-minute penalty in Senegal’s 1-0 win over Rwanda to keep the African champions unbeaten in 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
The forward ended a dull match in Dakar, Senegal, by holding his nerve to drill home and finally break Rwanda’s resistance.
The Liverpool forward, who has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, has converted a spot-kick deep into added time for the second time this year, following his 97th-minute winner against Zimbabwe in Senegal’s opening Nations Cup game in Cameroon.
Mane, who also scored the game-winning penalty in the Nations Cup final, is having a memorable season after scoring a hat-trick against Benin on Saturday to become the Teranga Lions’ record goalscorer.
Despite playing in what was essentially a home game for Rwanda, the Nations Cup winners including Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, and PSG’s Idrissa Gueye struggled for form.
Senegal has played their first two qualifiers at home, with Rwanda reversing the match on Tuesday to allow them to continue renovations on their Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
The Teranga Lions lead Group L by five points after two games, but Benin and Mozambique, who have only played once, meet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Zambia rebounded from Saturday’s opening defeat against Ivory Coast by defeating Comoros, who beat Lesotho 2-1 on Thursday, earlier in the day in Lusaka.
The island nation, which stunned Ghana in their Nations Cup debut earlier this year, appeared to be on course for another upset when El Fardou Ben Nabouhane scored early.
However, Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu, who missed the end of the Premier League season due to injury, equalized two minutes into injury time.
Their winner came in the 88th minute, as Kings Kangwa scored to give the 2012 African champions their first points in the group.
Comoros, Zambia, and Lesotho are competing for just one spot in the finals, as Ivory Coast are already guaranteed a place as hosts.
On Thursday, the Teranga Lions will face Lesotho in Johannesburg.
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