African players in Europe: Red day for Mané with two goals


PARIS, France, April 18 Senegalese talisman Sadio Mane scored two goals – one sweet and one superb – at the weekend to lead Liverpool to the FA Cup final with a 3-2 win over Manchester City at Wembley.

The Reds will face Chelsea in the showpiece final on May 14 – a repeat of the League Cup final won by Liverpool on penalties after a goalless final.

Besides his exploits at Liverpool, Mane helped Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in February and qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar a month later.

Here, AFP Sport highlights Africans who have played in European leagues and cup competitions:

ENGLAND

SADIO MANÉ (Liverpool)

Mane made the difference between Liverpool and Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals by scoring twice in a thrilling win for the Reds.

His persistence earned Liverpool their first and second goals of the day as they caught City substitute goalkeeper Zack Steffen in possession to drive the ball into the net.

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His second was as sweet as the first was scrappy as Mane flew into Thiago Alcantara’s pass to complete a stunning move from Jurgen Klopp’s men.

EMMANUEL DENNIS (Watford)

A 10th Premier League goal of the season for Dennis could not prevent Watford from closing in on relegation after a 2-1 loss to Brentford.

The Nigerian’s ferocious strike that flew at the near post was controversially cleared despite Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr appearing to be offside in the build-up.

A 10th straight home loss leaves the Hornets still six points from safety with just six games left.

GERMANY

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Hertha Berlin)

The 35-year-old made his first start since October and led the midfield as Hertha climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory at Augsburg.

“We needed a figure like Prince. He showed how important he is to us,” Hertha coach Felix Magath said as the Ghanaian midfielder launched into the tackle.

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TAIWO AWONIYI (Union Berlin)

Awoniyi ignored his marker and netted his 18th goal for Union this season to open the scoring in a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Nigerian striker is a favorite with Union supporters and threw his player shirt into the home crowd after being substituted with 10 minutes to go.

FRANCE

KARL TOKO-EKAMBI (Lyon)

The Cameroon striker, who has played the starring role in his country’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals on home soil this year, scored twice in Lyon’s 6-1 loss to Bordeaux.

His first goal was a giveaway after a farcical error from the Bordeaux keeper, while his second was a delicious chipped finish.

Toko-Ekambi has 16 goals this season, including 10 in Ligue 1. Lyon are eighth, four points behind European qualifying.

JODEL DOSSOU (Clermont)

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The Benin international equalized in a 1-1 draw against Metz. It was his second goal in as many games, after Dossou scored in last week’s 6-1 home hammering by Paris Saint-Germain.

Clermont are in the relegation play-off, five points above Metz and one point from outright safety.

ITALY

M’BALA NZOLA (Spezia)

The Angola international played probably the weirdest Serie A moment of the weekend.

He was substituted and then released just 10 minutes later in Spezia’s 3-1 loss to Inter Milan because he couldn’t remove his earring.

Brought in the 60th minute with his team one goal away, the 25-year-old was almost immediately stopped by match officials and ordered to remove the jewelry, a task that was beyond both Nzola and the team. of coaches from Spezia.

Eventually he had to admit defeat and coach Thiago Motta was forced to bring in Janis Antiste in his place.

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