Mane nets hat-trick as Senegal begin Afcon defence beating Benin

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Mane had teased at the prematch news conference that he would be leaving Liverpool, added to growing speculation about a move away from Anfield, but put all of that behind him as he led Senegal to a comfortable win, made easier when Benin had Sessi D’Almeida sent off early in the second half. But the visitors did manage a late consolation from substitute Junior Olaitan.

El Bilal Toure scored twice for Mali, who narrowly missed out on World Cup qualification in March, as they took early command of Group G, joining Gambia on three points. Belgian-based Abdoulie Jallow scored the game’s only goal as Gambia, surprise quarterfinalists at the finals in Cameroon earlier this year, beat South Sudan 1-0 in the other group game.

Striker Aboubakar Kamara scored twice for Mauritania as they won 3-0 at home to Sudan in Group I. Namibia’s Peter Shalulile scored an early goal against Burundi but they gave up a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw while Tanzania took a first-minute lead away against Niger but also ended up sharing the points in a 1-1 draw.