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Mane: I was luckier than Salah to reach World Cup

Sadio Mane is proud to have helped Senegal overcome Egypt and qualify for the World Cup and says he was “luckier” to get the better of Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah.

Senegal beat Egypt on penalties in Tuesday’s qualifying play-off in Dakar after winning 1-0 on the day to level the tie at 1-1 on aggregate.

Mane sunk the decisive spot-kick in a shoot-out overshadowed by the Egypt players – including Salah, who missed the opening kick – being targeted by lasers from the stands.

Senegal’s triumph comes seven weeks on from beating the same opponents – again on penalties – in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Nevertheless, Mane accepts that the outcome of both games could have been a lot different.

Mane told OnTime Sports:

“I won twice, and he lost twice. So I was luckier to come out on top.

“I am very proud that we won the AFCON and now qualified for the World Cup. It’s a dream I had.

“It was a difficult game for both teams. However, our fans pushed us to win, and we didn’t stop fighting.

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“We knew the game wouldn’t be easy, but we pressed to score.”

However, Senegal joins Ghana, Tunisia, Morocco and Cameroon as Africa’s representatives at Qatar 2022.

Nigeria, Mali, DR Congo, and Algeria are falling at the final hurdle.

Mane and Salah could reunite on the pitch next weekend, meanwhile, when Liverpool returns to Premier League action against Watford.

Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has hinted that he could retire from international football after failing to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In a play-off, the 29-year-old fell to Sadio Mane’s Senegal, missing a penalty in the final shoot-out.

After the game, Salah gave a rousing speech in the dressing room in which he suggested he may not be part of the team in the future.

Mane began:

“I spoke with the players in the dressing room before the second leg.

“And I am proud to play with them, and they are one of the finest groups I have played with.

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“I have spent some time with the previous generations with Wael Gomaa and Mohamed Aboutrika.

“As well as the Abdallah El Said generation, I am happy with the current crop.

“Whether or not I am available in the future, I am proud to have been your teammate. It was an honour for me.”

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