South Africa led 2-0 at half time courtesy Liam Jordan and Tercious Malepe before Ousseynou Diagne scored twice and one each from Ibrahima Ndiaye and Krepin Diatta sealed victory for the Senegalese. Luther Singh scored the third for Amajita.
Amajita will have themselves to blame for surrendering a two-goal lead in a game they dominated the first half.
Just one minute into the game, Jordan headed the South Africans into the lead from close range before captain Malepe struck a low shot on 25 minutes to double the score.
The closest Senegal came to scoring was midway through the half when Aliou Badji’s angled shot rattled the post despite South African goalie Mondli Mpoto completely beaten.
‘Les Lionceaux’ were a different team in the second half, with the pep talks during recess by Head Coach Joseph Koto telling in their game.
Three minutes from recess, Ndiaye pulled one back with a shot from a free-kick at the edge of the penalty area.
On 53 minutes, Diagne restored parity with a header from a corner before giving his side the lead eight minutes later with a scorcher that lefty Mpoto with no option.
Diatta made it a two-goal advantage for Senegal by heading home on 70 minutes before Luther Singh scored on 81 minutes to reduce the deficit.
The Senegalese held on to claim their first win of the competition.
Total Man of the Match: Ousseynou Diagne (Senegal)
Joseph Koto (Head Coach, Senegal)
We played a good match. I congratulate my players for the great performance. The team spirit was high. The entire Senegalese population is behind the team and that motivated the players to fight for the positive result. We missed a lot of chances too but the players made the difference on the pitch. They were determined to win and were mentally strong and composed. I was impressed with the performance as they played to our expectations.
Our objective remains one match after the other. We are looking forward to the match against Cameroon and we hope to give another impression of our team.
Thabo Senong (Head Coach, South Africa)
It was a good match but we defended badly. Also, we made fouls in dangerous areas and Senegal scored from a set piece. It was a disappointing second half. We have to pick ourselves up. We are not out of the competition. We are still in. We have to work on our defence and play better against Sudan. The lesson has come at the right time.
We have to remain positive and focused for the next match against Sudan. It is going to be our toughest game so far. We have to make sure we win and stay in the competition. We have to prepare and go all out.