The Teranga Lions of Senegal became the third African country after Nigeria and Egypt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after a 2-0 win over South Africa at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane sealed their place at the FIFA Mundial.
Senegal are back amongst the elites of World football after reappearing for the FIFA World Cup and it is the first time in 16 years .
Victory moves the Lions of Teranga up to 11 points and clear of their qualifying counterparts in Group D.
Diafra Sakho’s early strike was followed by an unfortunate own goal from Thamsanqa Mkhize on what turned out to be a sorry night for Bafana Bafana in the Limpopo province – 12 months after everything looked so good.
Sakho got the visitors up and running in the 12th minute. Sadio Manè drawing all the attention allowing for the West Ham United forward to find space and duly finish with aplomb from the Liverpool ace’s precise pass.
South Africa tried to find a way back into the tie and came close through Themba Zwane and Percy Tau before Lebogana Manyama watched his powerful effort canon off the crossbar in the 29th minute.
The sucker punch would follow 10 minutes later as Mkhize put the ball into the back of his own net after Itumleneg Khune had done exceptionally well to deny Manè from point-blank range.
Manyama had the final say of the half as he forced Khadim Ndiaye into a top save just before the break.
Senegal retracted into their shell following the interval, welcoming pressure from the hosts, but South Africa found it difficult to break down their stubborn counterparts.
Sibusiso Vilakazi finally found an opening in the 57th minute, but his shot was straight at the Senegal goal-minder.
Bafana Bafana continued to search for some sort of reprieve, but it was not to come as Senegal booked their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia.
The reverse fixture in Dakar next Tuesday will now be a mere formality with South Africa’s fate having been sealed.
South Africa (0) 0
Senegal (2) 2 (Sakho 12′ Mkhize OG 39′)
South Africa: Khune; Hlanti, Daniels, Gould, Mkhize – Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Tshabalala 69′) – Vilakazi (Grobler 83′) – Manyama (Jali 63′), Tau.
Senegal: K.Ndiaye, Gassama, Kouyate (A. Ndiaye 86′), Koulibaly, Sabaly – Sanè, Gueye , Ndoye – Manè, Niang (Ciss 90+3′), Sakho (Konatè 78′).