Mane stars as Senegal confirms World Cup berth

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Sadio Mane was in fine form as Senegal beat South Africa 2-0 on Saturday (AEDT) to reach the FIFA World Cup finals for the first time since 2002.

South Africa knew it had to win its last two games to have any chance of making it to Russia, but defeat in Polokwane ends its slim hopes of qualification.

West Ham United striker Diafra Sakho, who is seeking a move away from the east London club, put Senegal in front after 12 minutes, racing on to a Mane pass to beat Itumeleng Khune with a smart finish.

Mane was again involved as Senegal doubled its lead before half-time, Khune saving the Liverpool forward's effort but seeing unlucky defender Thamsanqa Mkhize turn the rebound into his own goal.

Senegal, which reached the quarter-finals at its previous FIFA World Cup finals appearance, now has an unassailable five-point lead at the top of Group D, having gone unbeaten in its five games, while Bafana Bafana are bottom, with just one win to their name.

Nigeria and Egypt are the other two African nations to have already earned a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with the draw set to take place on 2 December (AEDT).