Liverpool star Sadio Mane scored as Senegal won 1-0 in Guinea-Bissau on Sunday to become the first nation to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
The reigning African Footballer of the Year struck after 82 minutes against opponents reduced to 10 men by the red-carding of Jorge ‘Bura’ Nogueira midway through the second half in Bissau.
It had been a memorable five days for Mane, who scored the first goal and created the second when The Lions of Teranga beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in Thies near Dakar last Wednesday.
The two victories lifted Senegal, currently the top ranked national team in Africa, to a maximum 12 points from four matches in Group I, and they qualified with two matches to spare.
Senegal complete their schedule between March 22nd and 30th by travelling to Congo Brazzaville and hosting Eswatini, and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will probably request that Mane be rested.
Congo have six points, Guinea-Bissau three and Eswatini none in the struggle to qualify with 2002 and 2019 runners-up Senegal.
A win for the Congolese in Eswatini Monday would put them in pole position to reach the finals after missing out on the 2019 tournament in Egypt.