2023 AFCON: Defending champions Senegal stun Cameroon to book Round of 16 spot
Habib Diallo (L) is hugged by Sadio Mane after scoring the second Senegal goal against Cameroon. © KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Defending champions Senegal became the second qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16 as Ismaila Sarr, Habib Diallo and Sadio Mane scored in a 3-1 win over Cameroon on Friday.
A few hours earlier, Cape Verde were the first country to secure a last-16 place by hammering Mozambique 3-0 in Abidjan.
Sarr netted in the first half and Diallo and Mane in the second in Yamoussoukro to give the title-holders a maximum of six points after two Group C matches. The losers have only one.
Jean-Charles Castelletto scored late in the second half to halve the deficit to 2-1, but Senegal were not to be denied a convincing victory and Mane put the outcome beyond doubt.
Guinea face the Gambia later in the second match of a double-header and a victory would lift them three points above Cameroon with just one round of matches remaining.
Cameroon recalled Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana, who missed a draw with Guinea after arriving late in West Africa, but slack defending contributed to the goals he conceded.
Senegal kicked off with five of the team that started the 2022 final against Egypt in Yaounde, which they won in a penalty shootout with Mane scoring the decisive spot-kick.
Cameroon had to do without star forward Vincent Aboubakar again as he had not recovered from a thigh injury that ruled him out of a draw with Guinea four days ago.