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Diallo sends Senegal into CHAN final, to meet Algeria

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Senegal players line up before the match against Madagascar
  • Senegal beat Madagascar 1-0
  • They have made it into their first ever CHAN final
  • They will face off with hosts Algeria on Sunday

Senegal have booked a ticket into their first ever appearance at the final of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) after beating Madagascar 1-0 in Algiers. The win booked them a date against hosts Algeria, who had earlier on thrashed Niger 5-0 in the early semi.

Star striker Pape Diallo’s looping header was the difference at the Nelson Mandela Stadium as the home based Lions of Teranga look to emulate their senior team which clinched the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon last year.

Senegal tactician Pape Thiaw was over the moon after the victory and believes it has set them up well to battle for the title.

“We are happy because this is what we wanted to achieve in this competition. We did this for the sake of our local football. We wanted to showcase our football. We want our country to be proud of us and we want to return to Senegal with the CHAN title,” the tactician said after the match.

He added; “Our team was organized. No two games are the same. Our players were motivated and wanted to qualify against a good Madagascar team. They gave a lot, and I want to congratulate them for what they did. What I like about our team is the defensive efficiency. We have not conceded apart from the against Uganda.”

Coming into the tie, Senegal knew they would be playing against a tough Madagascar side and their target was to start off on a fast pace. They scored the opener and only goal after five minutes of the game.

Lopping header past the keeper 

Diallo connected to a Mamadou Sane cross from the right to net a looping header past the Madagascar goalkeeper Zakanirina Rakotohasimbola.

Senegal built on this momentum to control the game on both ends of the pitch as they denied Madagascar any chance of being comfortable with the ball.

Moussa Ndiaye, who was in fine form, sent a well-placed pass to Diallo in the box but Nina was in the right place at the right time to deny the Generation Foot forward.


Senegal celebrate

Senegal forward Cheikh Ibra Diouf then found himself in a one-on-one situation against Nina, but the latter was quick to block the attempt to further frustrate Pape Diaw’s side who continued to ask questions of the Malagasy.

Malick Mbaye then stepped forward to beat Avizara Soloniaina and cut into the box and his pass to Diallo was perfect for yet another Senegal goal but Nina who put up a man-of-the-match performance denied him this time.

Madagascar press for equalizer 

Madagascar continued to fend off the Senegal charge in the second half and when Cheikhou Ndiaye got to a lose ball from a corner kick, Soloniaina Rajo Nirina Razafindrabearimihanta commonly known as Berajo cleared but his diving header hit the crossbar to save Madagascar the blushes and avoid an own goal.

In the 83rd minute, Diallo beat the Madagascar defence and even though Nina left his line, but the effort went over the bar.

The Barea whose attacking prowess led by Koloina and Tokinantenaina Olivier Randriatsiferana commonly known as Tsiry was questioned on the night as they sought rare scoring opportunities, but their efforts were not enough on the night.

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