Sadio Mane fires Senegal into AFCON 2019 quarterfinals

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Senegal's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Uganda and Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on July 5, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (C) is embraced by another player as they celebrate after him scoring a goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Round of 16 football match between Uganda and Senegal at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on July 5, 2019. (Photo credit MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane scored a goal and missed a penalty as Senegal edged Uganda 1-0 on Friday in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Round of 16 encounter at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo.

The buildup to the game was dominated by news of Uganda’s players refusing to train on Tuesday following demands to be paid bonuses for their qualification from the group stage. However, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) stepped in and agreed to pay the players $6,000 each to resolve the impasse.

The first 15 minutes of the game were frantic with the referee brandishing three yellow cards to Ugandans Denis Onyango and Emmanuel Okwi and Senegal’s Badou Ndiaye.

Mane opened the scoring in the 15th minute finishing off a pass from Mbaye Niang following a neat counterattack after the Ugandans gave away possession in their own half.

Seven minutes later, Okwi forced Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis into a save with a volley from the edge of the penalty box. Okwi then headed wide from a corner kick in the 28th minute.

Mane won a penalty in the 58th minute when goalkeeper and captain Onyango brought him down the in the penalty box. Mane took the spot-kick himself but Onyango dived to his left to block the effort.

The miss was Mane’s second from the spot in the tournament following his failed effort against Kenya in their final Group C game, which they went on to win 3-0.

Gomis then saved a free-kick from Allan Kateregga in the 79th minute as Senegal held on for the win.

“We played a team full of real fighters like my team. I’m still proud of my players. We have got experience playing Senegal,” Uganda’s coach Sebastien Desabre said in his post-match press conference.

Every game is difficult. You don’t have one small team, all teams are very tough. Now we look forward. We need to have a very, very good rest because we have a very, very difficult game next week,” Senegal’s Cheikou Kouyate said in his post-match interview.

Senegal will next face Benin in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, July 10 at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo.

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