Senegal produced a brilliant performance to beat Burkina Faso 3-1 to qualify for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 final in Cameroon.
Senegal defender Abdou Diallo started the party for the 2019 losing finalists when he calmly slotted in from close range on 71 minutes.
The PSG defender kept his cool inside the Burkinabe box after Koulibaly’s volley fell on his path before guiding his shot past substitute keeper Soufiane Ouedraogo.
The West African derby lived up to its billing at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé with Senegal having two penalty claims turned down following VAR reviews.
With an eventful first half which saw the two teams cancel each other in the middle of the park. Saliou Ciss came close for the Lions of Teranga with a low fierce drive past Koffi’s far post on 14 minutes.
Edouard Mendy pulled a smart low save on towards his right to deny Burkinabe forward Hassane Bande seven minutes before the break.
The Stallions were forced to change their goalkeeper Kouakou Koffi following a collision with Senegal’s Cheikhou Kouyate.
The second half saw both sides going for the breakthrough and it was the Teranga Lions who scored first through Abdou Diallo.
The young defender found the back of the net from close range before Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Dieng doubled their lead from Sadio Mané’s clever cutback.
With time running out the Stallions pulled a goal back eight minutes from time when midfielder Ibrahim Blati Toure latched on to Issa Kabore’s cross.
Kabore was picked out by captain and talisman Bertrand Traore on the right and the forward placed an inviting delivery towards advancing Toure to slot past Mendy.
Senegal, two-time losing finalists at AFCON completed their task on 83 minutes through Liverpool star man Sadio Mané. The Liverpool forward showcased his class with the stylishly dinked his effort past Soufiane Ouedraogo to send Senegal to their third Africa Cup of Nations final.
Senegal will face the winner in the second semi-final between Egypt and hosts Cameroon in Sunday’s epic final at the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.