Sadio Mane on Tuesday got up from a horrible clash of heads that left him dazed on the ground, possibly with a concussion, to score a goal and help put Senegal into the quarter-finals at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal won 2-0 against Cape Verde, who had two players sent off in the last-16 game in Bafoussam, Cameroon.
The Liverpool star did not finish the match and later was taken to a hospital, although he said on social media that he was OK.
Morocco followed Senegal into the quarters by coming from behind to beat Malawi 2-1.
The Morocco comeback was completed by a magical free-kick by Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi, who curled the ball over the wall and into the top corner for the winner in the 70th minute.
He ran across to the Morocco bench and took a bow.
The Africa Cup of Nations action continued a day after a crush outside the stadium at the Cameroon-Comoros last-16 game killed eight people, with seven others in a serious condition, throwing a shadow over the continent’s top soccer tournament.
There had been questions about whether the day’s games would go ahead.
They did, after a moment’s silence at both. Some players also wore black armbands.
“Eight people who died yesterday at Olembe Stadium will always be in our memory,” Hakimi wrote on Twitter after his team’s victory. “Football takes a back seat today despite it is happy day for our country after the classification to quarterfinals of Africa Nations Cup. Rest in peace.”
In the Senegal-Cape Verde game, Cape Verde’s second red card was dished out to goalkeeper Vozinha when he raced out of his area and tried to head a ball clear with Mane chasing it down.
The players’ heads clashed badly as they leaped in the air, and Vozinha clearly sustained a concussion as he tried to get up afterward and ended up staggering around.
Vozinha left on a stretcher and was not around to see the red card referee Lahlou Benbraham held up for him.
Questions will be raised over Mane being allowed to continue after he hit the ground face first following the collision, rolled over and lay still on his back for a moment, clearly dazed, possibly with a concussion.
Mane dragged himself to his feet and scored less than 10 minutes later in the 63rd minute when a corner-kick fell to him beyond the far post, and he sent a right-footed shot in off the crossbar.
The Liverpool forward was eventually substituted in the 70th minute, clearly struggling.
Mane later posted a photograph on Facebook of him and Vozinha together and smiling at the hospital, with the words: “Everything is good. Thank you to everyone for the messages!”
The Senegal star was sitting upright in his hospital bed, with Vozinha standing alongside.
Without Mane, Senegal finished off nine-man Cape Verde with a second goal from a breakaway in stoppage-time by Bamba Dieng.
Cape Verde were in trouble from the 21st minute, when Patrick Andrade was sent off for a tackle on Pape Gueye.
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