The defending African champions Senegal defeated Benin 3-1 in Group L of the 2023 CAN qualifiers on June 4, 2022 in Diamniadio. The Senegalese won thanks to a triple by Sadio Mané, who became the top scorer in Lions history at just 30 years old.
It was another near-perfect evening for the Senegalese team at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium in Diamniadio. On June 4, 2022, his supporters still got their money’s worth.
In front of an enchanted audience, the reigning African champions are making an ideal start to the match against the Beninese. Sadio Mané opened the scoring on a penalty kick, following a foul by defender David Kiki in his penalty area (1-0, 12th). In the 22nd minute, Mané went twice to fool the opposing goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbé (2-0). In the 25th minute, the crossbar returns to his thigh recovery. The 3-0 was not far away…
Abused, however, the Squirrels can blow around half an hour into the game. Because a lighting problem causes a short interruption of the game. Their center-forward Steve Mounié then forced opposing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to intervene (31st). After the break, Mounié also proved threatening with a curled shot that shaved the Senegalese frame (47th).
A Sadio Mané XXL
But, in the 50th minute, the game flipped again: midfielder Sessi d’Almeida was ruled out for a gross foul in the position of last defender on Mané. Reduced to ten to eleven, the Beninese crack once again in stoppage time. They awarded a second penalty for a foul on Ismaïla Sarr. Sadio Mané offers a triple: 3-0, 60th. With this 32nd goal, the Lions star striker becomes the top scorer in the history of the Senegalese team, ahead of Henri Camara (31 goals).
Aliou Cissé’s protégés then quietly manage their efforts. Too quietly, in the 88th minute, Junior Olaïtan, launched in depth, took advantage to reduce the score of a cross shot (3-1).
In three days, the Senegalese will host the Amavaubi of Rwanda in an attempt to take the lead in the Group L standings. CAN 2023 started well for Senegal. The Beninese will play against the Mozambicans on June 8.