Mon, Mar 30, 2015 - Page 18 News List

Konate brace gives Senegal’s Cisse winning debut


Senegal’s Mame Biram Diouf, center, vies for the ball with Ghana’s Wakaso Mubarak, left, and John Boye in their international friendly at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Substitute Moussa Konate scored twice as Senegal confirmed their dominance over Ghana with a 2-1 friendly international victory in France on Saturday.

Konate replaced recalled Demba Ba just past the hour mark and struck twice within 11 minutes as the Teranga Lions repeated a 2-1 win over the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

Switzerland-based Konate brought his impressive club form to the Stade Oceane in the northern city of Le Havre having scored 11 goals in 17 appearances for Sion this season.

Senegal’s success meant a winning debut for coach and former star Aliou Cisse, who was appointed when French coach Alain Giresse parted with the Lions after a Cup of Nations first-round exit.

The first Konate goal was memorable as he controlled a long clearance with his chest and volleyed the ball over goalkeeper Razak Braimah on 66 minutes.

Sadio Mane set up the second on 76 minutes with a pass across the goalmouth and Konate slipped to the ground as he struck the ball into the far corner.

Another substitute, Emmanuel Boakye, halved the deficit with a close-range headed goal off a cross six minutes from time to set up a tense climax.

Former Newcastle United and Chelsea striker Ba, who fell out of favor with Giresse amid disputes over his fitness, struck the post after only six minutes on his comeback.

Elsewhere, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who exceeded expectations to finish third behind Ivory Coast and Ghana at the Cup of Nations last month, lost 2-1 to Iraq in the United Arab Emirates.

Paul Jose Mpoku, who plays his club soccer in Belgium like many Congolese players, equalized from a penalty midway through the opening half.

A couple of Emirates-based players, Ahmad Ibrahim Khalaf and Humam Tariq, scored for Iraq in Dubai.

Mauritius and Togo drew 1-1 in Bellevue, with Andy Sophie putting the Indian Ocean islanders ahead during the first half and Jonathan Ayite leveling eight minutes from time.

The result left former France star and Togo coach Didier Six still seeking his first win in charge of Mauritius after last week’s friendly against Burundi was also drawn.

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