Mohamed Salah acquired the higher of Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane as Egypt edged Senegal 1-Zero within the first leg of their World Cup playoff to take a slender result in Dakar for Tuesday’s return.
The rematch between the 2 Liverpool forwards, six weeks after Senegal beat Egypt on penalties to win their first Africa Cup of Nations title, noticed Salah arrange the one purpose.
He beat the offside lure to get on the tip of a ball excessive of the defence from Amr El Sulaya, hitting the bar earlier than the rebound bounced off Senegal defender Saliou Ciss’s knee and into the web for a dream begin after 4 minutes.
However that was all Egypt managed regardless of a capability 75,000 crowd on the Cairo Worldwide Stadium the place Senegal proved extra enterprising and can nonetheless really feel assured about profitable the tie on mixture and advancing to the World Cup in Qatar.
Mane was the guts of a lot of his groups assaults and had a good chance eight minutes earlier than half-time as a mazy run on the defence noticed him open up house to shoot, solely to slide on the important second and see his shot balloon properly broad.
He additionally had an opportunity on the again put up early within the second half however didn’t make contact with Egypt’s defence stretched.
Senegal saved urgent till the ultimate whistle looking for an equaliser, and a probably important away purpose, however have been saved at bay by some determined defending.
The away targets rule remains to be in use in African soccer regardless of being faraway from competitors in Europe this season.
Little spice in Jollof derby as Ghana and Nigeria draw
Regional rivals Ghana and Nigeria performed out a 0-Zero draw within the first leg of their World Cup playoff in Kumasi on Friday, leaving the tie broad open after they meet once more in Abuja on Tuesday to determine a spot on the World Cup.
The Jollof derby, so-called after the rice dish standard in each international locations, failed to supply a lot spice and can have left followers unhappy after a myriad of errors and poor decision-making marked the sport.
Dwelling facet Ghana had extra of the possession and probabilities however proved sloppy of their ending.
Solely twice did they take a look at goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, who made a cease from a stinging shot by Issahaku Fatawu within the 33rd minute after which once more within the 71st minute from Mohammed Kudus.
Nigeria’s greatest opening fell to Moses Simon 10 minutes into the second half however he squandered the prospect to attain an important away purpose.
Nigeria have been awarded a penalty with 15 minutes left when Idrissu Baba Mohamed dealt with the ball after being tripped in his personal penalty space, however after a VAR examine the referee modified his resolution and handed Ghana a free-kick.
Ghana have been enjoying their first recreation beneath new coach Otto Addo, who had former Brighton & Hove Albion supervisor Chris Hughton as a advisor.
He handed debuts to AS Roma teenager Felix Ohene-Gyan and 33-year-old former Belgium defender Denis Odoi, who switched allegiance forward of the two-legged playoff.
Leicester Metropolis’s Ademola Lookman, who had beforehand performed for England at U21 degree, made his Nigeria debut as an alternative choice to the final 15 minutes.
Giroud on the spot in France comeback win over Ivory Coast
Olivier Giroud defied the doubters once more as he marked his France comeback by scoring his 47th worldwide purpose when the world champions beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in a pleasant on Friday.
Giroud, who had not been known as up since his nation have been knocked out within the final 16 of the European Championship final yr, cancelled out Nicolas Pepe’s opener to maneuver 4 targets shy of Thierry Henry’s all-time scoring file for France earlier than Aurelie Tchouameni wrapped up the win in stoppage time.
The AC Milan ahead, who not often disenchanted coach Didier Deschamps regardless of restricted enjoying time when he was at Chelsea, was included within the squad following Karim Benzema’s harm.
He began alongside Christopher Nkunku as Kylian Mbappe sat on the bench after affected by an ear, nostril and throat an infection earlier this week.
France acquired off to a shaky begin however as soon as they discovered their groove threatened greater than their opponents as Paul Pogba and Tchouameni bossed the midfield at a packed Stade Velodrome.
Pepe burst into the realm and fired a low cross-shot from the close to put up that beat goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after 19 minutes because the French defence was caught napping.
It took France three minutes to react with Giroud heading house from his membership team-mate Theo Hernandez for the equaliser. Les Bleus continued to push and Nkunku got here shut within the opening half however his header went simply too excessive.
They have been, nevertheless, rewarded three minutes into added time when Tchouameni headed his first purpose from eight appearances off Matteo Guendouzi’s nook.
France subsequent tackle South Africa in Lille on Tuesday as they proceed the build-up to this yr’s World Cup in Qatar.