Senegal qualifies for World Cup via contentious replay

Senegal has qualified for the World Cup in Russia, seizing the second chance it was given by FIFA to beat South Africa 2-0 in a replay of a game it lost last year.

FIFA ordered the qualifier to be played again because of match-fixing by the referee in the initial match in November 2016. Senegal used the contentious replay on Friday to seal its place at the World Cup.

Sadio Mane was pivotal in both goals. He set up Diafra Sakho for the opener in the 12th minute and forced an own goal by South Africa defender Thamsanqa Mkhize in the 39th.

Senegal joins Nigeria and Egypt as qualifiers from Africa, so far. The last two qualifiers from Africa will be decided on Saturday.

FIFA’s unprecedented decision to order a replay and give Senegal another chance after finding Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey guilty of match-fixing caused serious discontent among the other teams in Senegal’s group.

South Africa decried the decision to strip it of the victory last year as unfair while Burkina Faso, which was hoping for a first-ever appearance at the World Cup, appealed FIFA’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


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