Pink-booted Senegalese strikes wonder goal

2015-12-02 10:02
soccer ball (File)

Johannesburg - A wonder goal set hosts Senegal up to beat Tunisia 2-0 in Dakar on Tuesday and move closer to qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games football tournament.

Ibrahima Diedhiou, a Belgium-based central defender wearing pink boots, unleashed a ninth-minute shot from the centre circle that flew over goalkeeper Sabri Ben Hassen into the net.

It was the second time in two African qualifying tournament games that Ben Hassen strayed off his line and was beaten by a long-range shot with Zambian Ronald Kampamba the scorer last Saturday.

Substitute Mouhamadou 'Habib' Diallo assured Senegal of a matchday 3 victory with a close-range strike off a cross five minutes from time before a near-capacity crowd at the 60,000-seat Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor.

It was a deserved victory for the hosts over niggly opponents, whose constant fouling and time wasting dashed hopes of a spectacle in the top-of-the-table Group A showdown.

Success assured Senegal of a top-two finish and a place in the semi-finals of the two-week tournament with the countries coming first, second and third overall qualifying for the Rio Games.

Senegal complete their mini-league schedule Friday with a match at the same stadium against Zambia, who have been eliminated and will be playing only for pride.

South Africa survived a nervous finale to defeat Zambia 3-2 in the first match of a double-header, and a draw against Tunisia in coastal city M'Bour Friday will squeeze them into the semi-finals on goals scored.

A South African victory seemed unlikely in the opening half as they lacked passion in the scorching mid-afternoon heat while Zambia threatened going forward.

Conlyde Luchanga volleyed Zambia into a 1-0 half-time lead on 35 minutes not long after a brilliant tip over from South African goalkeeper Jody February prevented Benedict Chepeshi scoring.

But the South Africans were a transformed side after the break and scored three times within eight minutes for a 3-1 advantage.

Menzi Masuku held off several challenges to level and Gift Motupa bagged a brace, heading home from close range, then firing past Zambia goalkeeper and captain Toaster Nsabata.

Billy Mutale punished sloppy South African marking at a corner with 17 minutes left to trigger a tense climax.

Matchday 4 features a Group B double-header in M'Bour, 70 kilometres (44 miles) south of Dakar, Wednesday with Algeria tackling Mali followed by Egypt against Nigeria.


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