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South Africa better than Nigeria, Senegal - Bafana Bafana coach boasts

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Alfred N'Diaye

Last night in South Africa, Senegal won 2-0, thereby booking their ticket for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Senegal have an unassailable 11 points in Group D to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 going into the now meaningless return match against Bafana in Dakar on Tuesday night.

This marks the first time that the African nation have qualified for the World Cup since 2002, during which they claimed a memorable victory over then defending Champions France who featured the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry.

The 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa played its part - and even dominated possession for spells - in a lively match, with Lebogang Manyama hitting the crossbar, but the second goal just before half-time knocked the wind out of its sails. A goal by English Premier League star Diafra Sakho, and an own goal by South Africa's defender Thamsanqa Mkhize proved key to the Lions' qualification.

Speaking on the matter, Jurgen Klopp said, "I'm really happy for Senegal that they could go to the World Cup and they need Sadio Mane for this, I understand, he is fit to play".

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Mane's role as the talisman for Senegal has become increasingly evident throughout the qualifying campaign and there was a collective gasp of anguish when he injured a hamstring last month in the 2-0 away win over Cape Verde.

South Africa goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune played with a protective white mask after fracturing a facial bone in a club match last weekend.

Algeria was held 1-1 by Nigeria on the final day of the football World Cup's qualifiers at Algiers.

Africa will send five teams to Russian Federation next year.

"It's a big dream for all of us to play at the World Cup".

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