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South Africa vs. Senegal: Player Ratings

Julien Laurens examines how far Senegal can go in their first trip to the World Cup since making the 2002 quarterfinals.

Senegal booked their berth at the 2018 World Cup with a 2-0 victory over South Africa in Polokwane on Friday night.

That does not tell the full story though, as Bafana Bafana dominated large parts of the game but could not find the goals their build-up play deserved.

In this feature, we rate and review the performances of the players, who will clash again on Tuesday in their final Group D fixture.

SOUTH AFRICA

6 - Itumeleng Khune: Played with a protective mask after his eye-socket injury at the weekend, and you wonder how much of an effect that had. He could do little for the first goal, but he might have got to the second with his hands had he not opted to go with his feet.

6 - Thamsanqa Mkhize got forward well at times and could do little about the own goal that was pure bad fortune.

6 - Clayton Daniels: Caught for pace at times and, along with Morgan Gould, was too easily split for the first goal. Otherwise did quite well as Senegal rarely threatened.

6 - Morgan Gould deserves the same assessment as Daniels; he had little to do for large parts of the game but might have done better when called upon.

5 - Sifiso Hlanti: Was caught on his side for the first and the second goals, which both came from the left channel.

7 - Dean Furman: Worked hard and out in some meaty challenges. His effort cannot be faulted, and he covered large parts of the pitch. 7 - Kamohelo Mokotjo: Offered a few nice passes out of midfield and, like Furman, covered a lot of ground.

6 - Themba Zwane: Not as influential as he has been in recent matches, but had one shot blocked. He was replaced by Siphiwe Tshabalala after 69 minutes.

6 - Sibusiso Vilakazi: Had a good opening in the second period and worked hard throughout, but at times lacked the quality to find the right pass. Replaced by Bradley Grobler after 83 minutes.

5 - Lebogang Manyama should have scored with his effort that hit the crossbar when the score was 1-0, and might have changed the complexion of the game. Replaced by Andile Jali after 63 minutes.

7 - Percy Tau: Was outmuscled up front by the big Senegalese defenders, but never stopped trying and showed several flashes of brilliance. Occasionally he was guilty of straying offside.

Substitutes

6 - Andile Jali: Did little to influence the game after coming on.

6 - Siphiwe Tshabalala: Put himself about when he came on and had a couple of half chances.

Bradley Grobler: Was not on long enough to receive a rating.

SENEGAL

7 - Khadim Ndiaye: Called into action on a few occasions and did well enough. Looked solid.

6 - Lamine Gassama: Bafana found quite a bit of joy on his side, had to scramble on a number of occasions.

6 - Cheikhou Kouyate: Showed good leadership as his side came under some immense pressure at times. Looked a bit sluggish before being replaced by Alfred Ndiaye after 86 minutes.

7 - Kalidou Koulibaly: Showed great strength to outmuscle Tau and keep the tricky Bafana forward under wraps.

6 - Youssouf Sabaly: Did his defensive duties well and offered next to nothing as Senegal played conservatively.

6 - Salif Sane: Sat in front of the back four and tried to disrupt the home attacks, but looked overwhelmed at times.

8 - Sadio Mane: Spent a lot of the time out on the right wing and laid on the first goal for Diafra Sakho with a great pass. He also had a hand in the second as he forced the own goal from Mkhize.

6 - Cheikh N'doye: Workmanlike in the midfield as he concentrated on breaking up the Bafana attacks.

6 - Idrissa Gueye: Full of energy and worked hard, but didn't have his usual influence on the game. The Everton man spent a lot of time talking to the referee.

5 - Mbaye Niang: Quite quiet by his standards, and was replaced in injury time by Saliou Ciss.

7 - Diafra Sakho: Took his goal well and tried to put his big frame about before being replaced by Moussa Konate after 78 minutes.

Substitutes

6 - Moussa Konate: Did little to show his hand after coming on with 12 minutes remaining.

Alfred Ndiaye & Saliou Ciss: Were not on long enough to receive a rating.

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