Sadio Mane has surpassed Henri Camara to become Senegal’s all-time leading scorer in international football after his hat-trick against Benin Republic in AFCON qualifiers.
The 30-year-old has now scored 32 goals for the Teranga Lions, surpassing the previous high of 32 goals set by a former Wigan striker.
In Saturday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification encounter against the Squirrels in Dakar, the Liverpool forward scored three goals to lead Aliou Cisse’s side to a 3-1 victory in Group L.
Prior to the game, the Liverpool forward had scored 29 goals for his country, a feat shared by Camara, who made 99 appearances for the West Africans between 1999 and 2008.
How did Mane break Senegal’s all-time scoring record?
After referee Alaa Sabry ruled that David Kiki handled the ball in the penalty area, the 30-year-old put his country ahead from the penalty spot.
Mane extended Senegal’s lead 10 minutes later, shooting Nampalys Mendy’s assist past goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe, while Michel Dussuyer’s Benin were looking to comeback.
Sessi D’Almeida was sent off in the 51st minute for dangerous play on Mane, thereby ending Benin’s chances of making a comeback.
Mane completed his trifecta with a penalty at the hour mark. Ismaila Sarr was fouled in the box this time by Allagbe.
Aliou Cisse’s men were unable to extend their lead despite multiple scoring opportunities and the visitors’ numerical disadvantage. Sub Junior Olaitan got one back for the Squirrels in the 88th minute.
This was Mane’s first hat-trick for Senegal since his debut in 2012, and his first in a complete senior match; his previous hat-trick came for the Senegalese U23 team at the 2012 Olympic competition.
Sadio Mane focused amid future talks
While he remains loyal to Senegal, Mane has stated that he will do what “60 to 70%” of Senegalese people want him to do, which is to leave Liverpool.
Mane is expected to inform Jurgen Klopp’s side of his wish to depart this summer, as we previously reported, with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich leading the battle to sign him.