Senegal became the first team through to Africa’s playoffs for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after defeating Namibia 3-1 in Windhoek yesterday.
Turkey-based forward, Famara Diedhiou, was the hero, outshining Sadio Mane and others as he scored once in the first half and twice in the second to register his second hat-trick for Senegal.
Peter Shalulile had found the back of Edouard Mendy’s net after Diedhiou’s first to give the hosts brief hope of holding on against the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up.
The win takes Senegal to 12 points in Group H, with Namibia (four points), Congo (two) and Togo (one) now all out of the running.
The winners of Africa’s ten qualifying groups will contest the playoffs next March, whereupon the continent’s five representatives in Qatar will be determined.
Elsewhere, Ghana won their second straight Group G game in a row under new coach Milovan Rajevac, as they beat Zimbabwe for the second time in four days.
Following on from Saturday’s 3-1 win on home soil, the Black Stars secured a 1-0 in Harare as Arsenal’s Thomas Partey netted a free-kick for his second goal in as many games.
The win takes Ghana to nine points, two more than a South Africa side who can reclaim top spot with victory over Ethiopia in late Tuesday fixture in Johannesburg.
With just one point, Zimbabwe can no longer qualify for the World Cup, while Ethiopia – on three points – need a win to keep their hopes alive.
Later, Niger play an Algerian side looking to extend their unbeaten run to 31 games.
The African champions are currently eyeing the world record of 37 games without a loss, which was recently set by Italy.
GROUP H (Africa)
Team. P. W D L GF GA GD PTS
Senegal 4 4. 0 0. 12. 3 9. 12
Togo. 4. 1. 1. 2 3 5. -2 4
Namibia. 4 1. 1. 2. 4 8. -4 4
Congo. 4. 0. 2. 2. 4 7. -3. 2.