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2018 World Cup Qualifying - CAF, Round Three
  • Diafra Sakho (82')
  • Cheikh N'Doye (90'+3')

Senegal take control of World Cup destiny after beating Cape Verde

Mane Senegal celeb ANC 170119 Getty Images

Senegal are well on course to qualify for the World Cup next year after a 2-0 victory in Cape Verde on Saturday that took them top of qualifying Group D.

The Lions of Teranga looked dangerous throughout the match but faced a well organised Cape Verde side, and were made to sweat for the result on the home side's artificial National Stadium pitch.

After a goalless first half, Senegal grew stronger in the second period but created their best chances late in the half.

Keite Balde Diao almost opened the scoring in the 79th minute when his left-footed voley was headed off the line by a defender with the goalkeeper stranded, but a late flurry sealed the points for the away team.

Diafra Sakho was the man who got the all-important opener, laying the ball off to substitute M'baye Niang before smashing his teammate's parried shot into the roof of the net after the goalkeeper could not hold a stinging Niang shot across goal.

Cheikh Ndoye put the cherry on top with a second goal deep into stoppage time, which did Senegal's goal-difference no harm as they top the group on eight points.

Senegal will qualify for Russia 2018 if they beat South Africa in one of their final two matches against Bafana Bafana.

A draw could also be enough as Burkina Faso host Cape Verde in those teams' final match and both are on six points, so can only attain a maximum of nine.