Senegal 2 - 0 Tanzania: Diatta’s stunner helps Terenga Lions to winning start

Sadio Mané will miss Senegal's opening game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to suspension.                  AFP  Seyllou

Sadio Mané will miss Senegal's opening game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to suspension. AFP Seyllou

Recent Form Aliou Cisse men have not lost a single game since losing to Colombia at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation as they are unbeaten in their last seven matches and they have won each of the last six whilst keeping a clean sheet in five of those matches. We know we were hammered 7-0 three (sic) three years ago.

Tanzania are appearing in the biennial continental showpiece for the first time in 39 years while Senegal have been regular campaigners, and in fact favourites to win, without ever lifting the African diadem. France were not top of the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and they were world champions.

Senegal started brightly, with half-chances near the area from M'Baye Niang and Ismaila Sarr in particular.

Coach Aliou Cisse is not concerned about Mane's absence, with his team still expected to get a result against the The Taifa Stars who are ranked 131st in the world. "That needs to be backed up during this Cup of Nations or it's going to be hard".

Mane is suspended after an accumulation of cautions in the qualifiers and is only available from Senegal's second game in Group C of the tournament in Egypt.

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"His absence should not in any way bother us", he added.

Senegal, who were without Sadio Mane, registered a 2-0 win over Tanzania in their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations clash on Sunday evening.

"We would have preferred to have him playing".

"Do not be surprised if you see some of these so-called big teams packing their bags early and heading home", he said. Konate only scored seven times for his club side last season, but his record of 10 goals in 17 appearances for his country suggests he is at home on the global stage.

Senegal's superiority was never in question though as they finally broke the deadlock in the 28th minute thanks to Keita Balde who finished with a low strike at the near post after going clear on the left. The Emmanuel Amunike side earned their place at the finals after finishing second behind Uganda in their qualifying group with a 3-0 victory against the already qualified Ugandans in their final match-sealing their spot in Egypt. - Senegal manager Aliou Cisse was the captain of the Terenga Lions when they reached their only AFCON final to date, in 2002.

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