Mon | May 1, 2017

Draw puts Senegal on top in tough Group C

Published:Saturday | January 24, 2015 | 1:00 AM
AP South Africa's Dean Furman (left) celebrates with teammates after a goal during their African Cup of Nations Group C match against Senegal in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea, yesterday. The match ended 1-1.

MONGOMO, Equatorial Guinea (AP):

Senegal came back for a

1-1 draw with South Africa

to move top of Group C at the African Cup of Nations yesterday.

Defender Serigne Mbodji equalised with a thumping header in the 61st minute after Senegal had fallen behind to Oupa Manyisa's goal early in the second half.

The Senegalese also had a goal disallowed three minutes before Mbodji's header, when Sadio Mane's strike was ruled out for offside. It was a tight call.

Group C is wide open, with favourites Algeria and Ghana a point behind on three points after Ghana's 1-0 win earlier yesterday. South Africa are

bottom and have the toughest task to make the quarter-finals.

Senegal fought back for the second time at the Cup of Nations after the last-minute 2-1 win over Ghana in their opener, and now need just a draw to emerge from a tough group and make the quarter-finals.

Others were favourites

"Before the tournament, everyone said the three other teams were the favourites for the group. Right now, we are in first position," Senegal captain Bouna Coundoul said.

Senegal needed to show fight for the second straight game, though, after Manyisa was played in on the left two minutes into the second half and hit his shot across Coundoul for South Africa's lead.

Recovered from injury and back in the team, midfielder Mane had a goal disallowed, but Senegal kept attacking and Mbodji rose to power home his header in the 61st.

Dame N'Doye made an immediate impact for Senegal off the bench, driving a rising shot towards goal in the last 10 minutes and forcing keeper Thapelo Mabokgwane to dive to his right and knock it away.

And in a frantic finish, South Africa's Anele Ngcongca had a glimpse of goal before being denied by a block from defender Lamine Gassama.

While Senegal know what they need to do, South Africa must beat Ghana to make the last eight and hope Algeria lose to Senegal.