Senegal Book World Cup Ticket

File Itumeleng Khune of South Africa during a training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium Polokwane. Credit BackpagePix

Against expectations‚ Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has revealed his hand early and released is starting XI for Friday night's must-win World Cup qualifier against Senegal‚ with Lebogang Manyama starting.

Newsmen report that Diafra Sakho scored the opener for the visitors in Polokwane, before a somewhat fortuitous Thamsanqa Mkhize own goal sealed the three points for the Teranga Lions.

The only previous World Cup appearance by Senegal was in 2002 when current coach Aliou Cisse captained a team that reached the quarter-finals in South Korea and Japan.

South Africa defeated Senegal 2-1 in Polokwane last November, but Federation Internationale de Football Association ordered a replay because of "match manipulation" by Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey, who was banned for life.

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Victory gave Senegal an uncatchable five-point lead over Burkina Faso and Cape Verde in Group D with one round left.

To their credit the hosts did not allow the setback to get them down and with the industrious Dean Furman keeping things ticking over from the middle of the park, they soon took control of the game, dishing up some speedy and incisive interplay while also showing good appetite to win the ball back.

"We are going to represent all of Africa in Russian Federation next year and will do our best to make everyone proud".

However, leading up to the game, the South African camp has been hit with a series of suspension and injury problems, including Khune, who fractured a bone in his face in a Telkom Knockout match last weekend. Sadio Mané played Sakho through on goal with a defence-splitting pass and the West Ham striker slotted the ball past Khune. But again there was no end product as several promising crosses just failed to meet the right targets in the box, while Sibusiso Vilakazi fired straight at N'Diaye from close range and Zwane struck a first-time effort over the bar just after the hour mark.

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