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AFCON: Keita, Diatta Shoot Down Tanzania

Captain Sadio Mane’s absence was never going to be felt in Senegal’s opening game against Tanzania as Krepin Diatta and Keita Balde Diao made sure of that as the pair combined to send the East Africans packing.

Spoilt for choice with a maverick littered squad, gaffer Aliou Cisse was always going to put out a solid team to get the points in the bag and though they managed to do just that, but Tanzania never let them have it easy.

First Inter Milan’s Keita Balde Diao notched home the opener in the 28th minute. Idrissa Gana Geuye’s speed took him inside the oppositions box.

The Everton midfield powerhouse spread it out to a waiting Keita despite buckling little under pressure from an on-rushing Tanzanian defender which the former Barcelona and Monaco man bulleted past goalkeeper Aishi Manula.

The Taranga Lions went into the break topping matters and proceedings didn’t change after the hiatus as they dominated at the Air Defence Cairo, adding to their only goal.

20-year-old Krepin Diatta, Belgian side Blube Brugge’s revelation of the season, has been remarkably crucial.

Coaches of both Senegal’s U-20 and senior national teams locked in a row over who he plays for before the sensation opted for the latter prior to start of the Nations Cup.

And on Sunday, he showed what is the buzz all about him. The attacker was well positioned to wreak havoc when the ball came cantering his path following a poor clearance. He ballooned in the resultant effort that went past a stupefied opposition goalie into the net for a 2-0 score.

Earlier, Mbaye Niang and Ismaila Sarr were close to scoring. Niang cut through but spurned  it on the side-net while Sarr had his goal ruled out for an offside.

On the radar of FC Barcelona, Sarr would prompt the Taifa Stars’ net-minder into blocking a shot after he had let fly a cross but failed to pick any of his teammates into the box.

Senegal top group A temporarily pending outcome of Algeria’s tie with Kenya.



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