Sadio Mane assists as Senegal beat Congo 2-0 in AFCON warmup friendly

on 11.01.2017

Sadio Mane notched an assist in Senegal’s final warmup friendly ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, a 2-0 victory over Congo.

Mane is with the Senegal squad in Congo’s capital, Brazzaville, as they prepare for the tournament in Gabon, which could rule him out of Liverpool’s next eight games.

Having defeated Libya 2-1 in their previous friendly on Sunday, with Mane sitting out, the 24-year-old joined his international colleagues on the field against 2015’s quarter-finalists.

The Reds winger lined up alongside Lazio’s Keita Balde and Stoke City’s Mame Biram Diouf in Aliou Cisse’s 4-2-3-1 formation, which also included Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye and West Ham United defender Cheikhou Kouyate.

With Congo having failed to qualify for this year’s AFCON, Senegal quickly imposed themselves on their lesser opposition, and it took just 19 minutes for Keita to open the scoring.

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This came as the result of an excellent assist from Mane, threading the ball through the Congo defence from deep to find his 21-year-old team-mate, who chipped home with his left foot on the break.

Papa Alioune Ndiaye netted Senegal’s second in the 46th minute, with Diouf providing the assist, as the Lions of Teranga waltzed to a comfortable victory.

Mane was named Man of the Match for his efforts from the right wing, in what proved to be the ideal warmup as Cisse’s side prepare for a bid for the AFCON trophy over the next four weeks.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 19, 2016: Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action against Everton during the FA Premier League match, the 227th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s No. 19 left Merseyside with a heavy heart, having both scored and assisted the most goals for the club in the first half of the season, with his departure a bitter blow to the Reds.

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Jurgen Klopp will likely be without his £30 million summer signing in both legs of the League Cup semi-finals against Southampton, as well as an FA Cup third-round replay away to Plymouth Argyle and a potential fourth-round clash with Wolves at Anfield.

Mane could also miss crucial Premier League fixtures against Man United (January 15), Swansea City (January 21), Chelsea (January 31) and Hull City (February 4).

This largely depends on Senegal’s success in Gabon, with the earliest opportunity for them to exit the tournament being after their final group game against Algeria on January 23.

If that is the case, Mane could be back for the Reds’ all-important clash with Chelsea at the end of the month.

But this remains wishful thinking, and with Senegal in impressive form as they warm up for the AFCON, Cisse can hope to lead his side to the final on February 5.


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    • But although I would like him to do well I hope he gets back to Liverpool sooner rather than later! If they go all the way to the final we will be missing him a lot longer! I am not wishing anything negative on him though! Just being selfish for all the Liverpool FC reasons!

  1. Praying that Senegal gets knocked out soon. It’s a waste of time and increases the potential for injury when he gets called to play friendlies.

  2. W T F are they doing playing warm ups? 10 day prep before the competition actually starts…at the most congested part of the season…

  3. No hard feelings to Senegal, but I wouldn’t mind, if they f’d up in the first round where Sadio didn’t play more than 5mins because he was sent off for calling the ref a “fat basterd”..well, wishful thinking, but really no reason except for greed that AFCON is having that tournament every 2 years. – Word has it, they wish to increase their tournament.

    • Yet another example of the world being exploited by African greed…….

      Seriously dude???

      Perhaps they feel if they waited every four years they would never get to see their great young players that would become “French” or “Dutch” etc during that period?

        • You might want to look up sarcasm in the dictionary?

          Or does my pointing out that European countries have benefited historically by utilizing players from African countries that had been colonies / former colonies make you uncomfortable?

  4. I’m I the only one that wishes Senegal to win this tournament? I mean… Of course it’d be good to have him back sooner, but I always want Liverpool’s players to play well and win, be it in club or country.

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