Sadio Mane got his first Fifa World Cup goal as Japan forced Senegal to a 2-2 draw at Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg.
His 11th minute strike not only put his side in line for a Round of 16 place, it proved that he is somewhat of a lucky charm for the Teranga Lions.
3 - Senegal have won three of their six World Cup matches, giving them the best win rate of any African nation to play in the competition (50%). Expression. #JAPSEN #SEN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/a4pte63k1F— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2018
In their opening game of the competition, the 26-year-old fired blanks as goals from Thiago Cionek's own goal and Mbaye Niang strike handed Aliou Cisse's men a 2-1 victory over Poland at the Spartak Stadium.
Against the Samurai Blue, his performance proved crucial – and was named Man of the Match and with his curtain-raiser, became the seventh-highest goalscorer in the history of Senegal, with 14 goals.
He seems to be a lucky charm for the west African country, having never ended on the losing side when he nets for the Teranga Lions.
14 - Senegal haven't lost any of the previous 14 international matches that Sadio Mané has scored in, winning nine games and drawing the other five. Catalyst. #JAPSEN #SEN #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/lyYSIDuOBH— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2018
Undeniably, he has effectively always been a victor when he scores: Senegal have won nine and drawn five of the 1 games in which the former Southampton star has found the target.
Liberia, Niger Republic, Uganda, Mali, Egypt, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Madagascar, Burundi, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and now Japan have all been his victims, with the most important goal of all coming in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualification clash with the Stallions in Ouagadougou on September 5, 2017.
So Senegal fans will now hope there are more similarly important strikes on the way – and hope that Mane can continue being their chief mascot especially in their World Cup clash with Columbia in Samara on Thursday.