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South Africa Under-23 booked their place in the Rio 2016 Win over Senegal


South Africa Under-23 booked their place in the Rio 2016 Olympics following their 3-1 penalty shoot-out win over Senegal at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar on Saturday
Senegal and South Africa were both targeting a place in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when the two nations clashed in the U23 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) 3rd/4th play-off encounter.

SA had a promising start to the first half with teenage striker Phakamani Mahlambi showing good pace on the left wing, before playing a good cross which was well gathered by Senegal goalkeeper Seydou Ndiaye three minutes into game.

Three minutes later, SA captain and midfielder Keagan Dolly did well on the right hand side and played a good cross for Gift Motupa, whose shot was pushed over the cross-bar by Ndiaye.

However, as the game progressed Senegal began to see most of the ball. In the 22nd minute, Senegal forward Sidy Sarr unleashed a shot from range which went inches wide.

SA launched a counter-attack through midfielder Deolin Mekoa on the left hand side in the 34th minute, but the attacker's tame shot failed to beat Ndiaye.

A minute before the half-time break, Mahlambi was unfortunate not to hand SA the lead when he reacted the quickest to force Ndiaye into a great save from a free-kick situation.
Five minutes after the restart, Senegal forward Diedhiou came close to opening the scoring when he forced SA keeper Jody February into a decent save from a corner-kick.

On the hour-mark, the SA shot-stopper was again called into action, parrying away a free-kick and Senegal midfielder Diallo failed to score from the rebound.

Siphelele Ntshangase unleashed a left-footed effort in the 65th minute, but his attempt was well dealt with by Ndiaye in Senegal goal.

Senegal were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute when February fouled Ismaila Sarr inside the box.
However, the keeper made amends as he saved the resultant spot-kick.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, SA defender Rivaldo Coetzee found himself unmarked inside the Senegalese box, but his header was brilliantly saved by keeper Ndiaye.
The encounter ended in a goalless draw after 90 minutes and it had to be settled on penalties.
SA keeper February proved to be the hero for his nation in the penalty shoot-outs as he saved three spot-kicks as Owen Da Gama's men sealed their spot in next year's Olympic Games with a 3-1 penalty shoot-out win.

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