Classy defending champions of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Teranga Lions of Senegal, tore apart their counterparts, the Elephants of Cote D'Ivoire, in the second match of the Group B encounter on Friday.
The defending champions, Senegal, have progressed to the knockout stages of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with six points from two matches, following a 3-1 win over Cameroon on Friday.
The Group C fixtures between the two West African heavyweights, however, lived up to expectations as both teams exhibited great skills at the venue in Yamoussoukro.
Riding into the just 16 minutes, Aliou Cissé’s side drew first blood thanks to Ismaïla Sarr’s opener. The Olympique Marseille striker fired into the bottom right-hand corner after the Cameroon defense failed to clear off Lamine Camara’s corner, and Cissé’s effort took a hefty deflection off André-Frank Zambo Anguissa before beating André Onana.
After missing Cameroon’s 1-1 tie with Guinea on Monday due to his decision to play in the Premier League for Manchester United a day earlier, Andre Onana returned to goal for his country.
Senegal doubled their lead after some neat interplay in the 71st minute when Diallo ghosted in between Enzo Tchato and Castelletto to slide home Ismaila Sarr’s low ball.
However, after a brief corner, center-back Castelletto headed in Olivier Ntcham’s cross to give the Indomitable Lions a spark in the last ten minutes.
The Indomitable Lions tried to push for a draw, but in the 94th minute, Nkoudou squandered the best opportunity when he could only deflect another right-wing cross wide at the back post.
Senegal immediately moved up the other end to seal the victory, as Idrissa Gana Gueye’s pass from just inside the box was expertly steered into the bottom left-hand corner by Sadio Mane.
The Teranga Lions, led by Aliou Cisse, won their first AFCON championship two years ago, and they are making a strong start to their title defense as they look to become the first team to win the trophy back-to-back since Egypt won three in a row in 2010.
Five-time continental winners Cameroon have one point from two games and would probably need to defeat The Gambia in their last group match on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stages.
Senegal, with six maximum points after two games, has qualified for the Round of 16 and will lock horns with Guinea in their last group match on Tuesday.