The Junior Desert Hawks were few minutes away from recording their first ever victory at the U-20 Africa Cup of Nations after Hassan Mutwakil had given them the lead from the spot midway in the first half; only for Niane to strike late to save ‘Les Lionceaux’ from the jaws of defeat.
Diarra fouled Eid Mugadam, who had intercepted Alioune Gueye’s pass, and headed towards goal. His intervention though timely came at a cost as his team had to play the remainder of the game short of a man.
The numerical disadvantage soon began to have an effect on the Senegalese and four minutes later they conceded a penalty after Moussa Ba was adjudged to have impeded Khaled Abdulmonem in the vital area.
The resultant penalty was converted by Mutwakil to give Sudan the lead midway into the first half.
Few minutes later, Senegal coach Joseph Koto was compelled to revise his tactics bringing on lanky defender, Mamadou Mbaye for Aliou Badji. The introduction was not enough and ‘Les Lionceaux’ will only find their feet in the second half.
The Sudanese made the most of their numerical advantage but Mutwakil and Abdelmonem were guilty of spurning chances that could have seen them increase their lead.
With the game heading for a Sudanese victory, Niane tucked home a rebound two minutes from time after substitute Mouhamed Pouye’s effort bounced off the post for a deserving equalizer.
Sudan next plays Cameroon on Thursday whilst Senegal battles South Africa both in Ndola.
Total Man of the Match: Krepin Diatta (Senegal)
Joseph Koto (Head Coach, Senegal)
The red card really affected our plan. The effect was immense. In my opinion, the red card was harsh though I admit it was a foul. After the red card, we conceded and it made matters difficult. Playing with ten men is always difficult but I’m very satisfied with the performance of my players. They did not lose hope and got a late equalizer.
It was very heart aching for Mamadou (Diarra) when he was sent off, but his friends did well in his absence.
We played against a tough Sudanese team. May be if it was 11 against 11, it could have been a different story. During the second half, we settled and found some weaknesses in the Sudanese team, which we capitalized on to equalize.
Mubarak Suliman (Head Coach, Sudan)
It was a good performance from my team. It was unfortunate we couldn’t hold on to victory till the end. We had some clear chances to increase the tally, but we failed to score. We did not win but in the end, we managed a point. We did well but I hope to win the next match against Cameroon on Thursday.