Sadio Mane’s late goal helped Senegal through to their third Africa Cup of Nations final after overcoming Burkino Faso 3-1.
Senegal were denied two penalties by the VAR, with Burkina Faso goalkeeper Herve Koffi injured in the first of those incidents and Farid Ouedraogo having to come off the bench to replace him in goal.
All the goals came in the second half as Abdou Diallo and Idrissa Gueye put Senegal in charge before Blati Toure pulled a goal back late on.
FULL-TIME! ⏰ #TeamBurkinaFaso 1️⃣-3️⃣ #TeamSenegal
WHAT A GAME! The Lions of Teranga reach the #TotalEnergiesAFCON final for the second successive time. 🦁#TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 | #AFCON2021 | #BFASEN pic.twitter.com/shUbwR30Mm
— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 2, 2022
However, Mane raced clear to chip in to settle victory for the tournament favourites with three minutes remaining.
It was the Liverpool forward’s 29th goal for his country, taking him level with Henri Camara at the top of their all-time scorer list.
Senegal will face Egypt or hosts Cameroon in Sunday’s final, with the second semi-final to take place on Thursday.
Senegal are the highest ranked side in Africa – 20th on FIFA’s list – and their extra class eventually told.
They felt they should have been ahead at the break after Cheikhou Kouyate’s clash with Koffi and Edmond Tapsoba’s elbow-block on Idrissa Gueye both adjudged to be penalties on the field.
However on each occasion referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa changed his decision after being invited to consult the video replays.
Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore was Burkina Faso’s main threat but did not really get a clear sight of goal before Diallo turned in a loose ball and Idrissa Gueye slotted in to make it 2-0 in the 76th minute.
Toure managed to improvise to get his team back in the game in the 82nd minute, adjusting well as the ball hit his knee and nestled in the net.
But Mane’s driving run and chipped finish put Senegal through as they look to make it fourth time lucky in the final, having never lifted the trophy.