Senegal 2 Tanzania 0: Balde, Diatta on target in routine AFCON win

Tougher tests will surely come but Senegal did what it needed to in a 2-0 Africa Cup of Nations success against Tanzania on Sunday.

Senegal players celebrate after scoring a goal against Tanzania on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Senegal opened its quest for Africa Cup of Nations glory with a comfortable 2-0 win over Tanzania on Sunday.

The Lions of Teranga have never won the tournament but are among this year's favourites with Liverpool star Sadio Mane headlining a strong-looking squad.

And although Mane was suspended for this Group C encounter in Cairo, it mattered little, with Keita Balde Diao's 28th-minute goal the flashpoint of a one-sided first half.

Krepin Diatta doubled Senegal's lead with a tremendous finish from distance after the break as Aliou Cisse's side won well on a warm evening in the Egyptian capital.

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The gulf in class was immediately evident as Tanzania - ranked 131st, 109 places below its opponent - was on the back foot.

M'Baye Niang wasted two great chances in the first six minutes, shooting straight at Tanzania goalkeeper Aishi Manula before he fired wide.

Senegal defender Salif Sane was taken off on a stretcher after suffering an ankle injury before Balde opened the scoring, producing a neat left-foot finish on the angle in the 28th minute.

The chances came thick and fast for Senegal but profligate finishing continued to deny them, while Ismaila Sarr also had a goal disallowed for a handball in the build-up.

Niang's frustrating night in front of goal continued in the second half but Diatta produced the night's highlight in the 64th minute.

A corner was not cleared properly and Diatta did not break stride with a 20-yard first-time finish that flew in, via a very slight deflection.

Sarr shot just wide as Senegal chased a third but two goals were more than enough as it claimed a seventh successive victory in all competitions.

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