Senegal thrashed Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinal match at the Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo in Cameroon on Sunday night.
The win saw the tournament favourites book their spot in the semifinals where they will take on Burkina Faso on Wednesday, while the National Thunder were eliminated from the competition.
The Lions of Teranga started the match brightly with Famara Diedhiou, who was playing as the focal point of Senegal’s attack, looking determined to put his name on the score sheet.
The Turkey-based centre forward ran on to a long ball from Bouna Sarr, but his shot lacked power and it was easily saved by Jesus Owono in the National Thunder’s goal-posts.
However, Diedhiou was not to be denied in the 28th minute after being sent through on goal by Sadio Mane. The lanky marksman beat Owono at the near-post with a low shot to hand Senegal a 1-0 lead.
Aliou Cisse’s charges were hungry for goals as Nampalys Mendy decided to try his luck from range, but his thunderous shot was superbly saved by Owono and Senegal were leading at halftime.
The National Thunder came back an improved side after the restart and they levelled matters when Jannick Buyla fired a low shot past keeper Edouard Mendy to make it 1-1 in the 57th minute.
Former Senegal captain Aliou Cisse reacted by making changes as he introduced Ismaila Sarr, Bamba Dieng and Cheikhou Kouyate, who made an immediate impact.
Kouyate restored the Lions of Teranga’s lead when he pounced and looped the ball over Owono to make it 2-1 to Senegal in the 68th minute after the Equatorial Guinea defence had failed to clear the ball away.
Ismaila Sarr also made an impact as the Watford FC attacker scored to extend the Lions of Teranga’s lead in the 79th minute – turning home a low cross from Saliou Ciss to seal Senegal’s 3-1 victory.
Senegal (1) 3 (Diedhiou 28′, Kouyate 68′, I. Sarr 79′)
E. Guinea (0) 1 (Buyla 57′)