'It was important' to be Senegal's difference maker - Mane

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The Teranga Lions have failed to make it to the mundial since their remarkable outing in 2002, and the forward is excited after he led the charge

Sadio Mane is delighted to help Senegal secure their place in next year's World Cup after overcoming South Africa 2-0 in Polokwane on Friday.

With Aliou Cissé’s men needing only a victory over Bafana Bafana to qualify for the global showpiece, Mane helped deliver the goods against Stuart Baxter's men.

Although the 25-year-old admitted that there was enormous pressure on him to deliver for his team, he is pleased to make a difference in the outing.

“It was not easy but I had to keep pushing. It wasn’t easy for me, there was too much pressure on me but that has become normal,” Mane said after the match.

“It was important to be able to make a difference.” 

Sadio Mane

The former Southampton player supplied the decisive pass for Diafra Sakho's opener before forcing defender Thamsanqa Mkhize to turn the ball into his own net as Senegal sealed their place in Russia.

“I saw three defenders all in a line and I couldn’t pull the ball back, so I just put it through the middle of them because I knew Diafra Sakho would be racing onto the ball," he continued.

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“We play well together every time we are in the national team.

”Our coach wasn’t happy even though we were 2-0 up at half-time. He warned us it would be difficult to keep the lead. But we knew we had just 45 minutes to hold on for the World Cup.

“It’s a big dream for all of us to play at the World Cup. We are going to represent all of Africa and go there as an African team. We will try to give our best for the whole continent," he concluded.

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