Africa Cup of Nations: Senegal forward Sadio Mane hopes to continue scoring run

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A visit to Sadio Mane's hometown
2019 Africa Cup of Nations
Host nation: Egypt Dates: 21 June - 19 July 2019
Coverage: Text commentary and selected match reports on the BBC Sport website and app

Sadio Mane says it is his "absolute dream" to help Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

Senegal, runners-up in 2002, are looking to reach the quarter-finals for the second successive time when they face Uganda on Friday (20:00 BST).

Mane is joint-leading scorer at the tournament with two goals along with 10 other players - including his Liverpool team-mate, Egypt's Mohamed Salah.

"For me, the most important thing is to win it with Senegal," said Mane.

Senegal reached the knockout stage after finishing runners-up to Algeria in Group C.

Mane, a Champions League winner with Liverpool in June, was suspended for the opening group victory over Tanzania but scored twice in the 3-0 win over Kenya after appearing in a 1-0 defeat by Algeria.

Before the start of the month-long tournament in Egypt, Mane told France Football magazine that he would trade his Champions League success to win the Africa Cup of Nations.

"I will try to score more goals and help my team-mates score so that we can finally win this cup," added Mane, who could play against Liverpool team-mate Salah if Senegal and Egypt reach the final on 19 July.

"This is my absolute dream [to help Senegal win]. I am here for this."

Sadio Mane lifts the Champions League trophy
Sadio Mane was part of Liverpool's Champions League final win over Tottenham on June 1

Uganda finished runners-up to hosts Egypt in the group stage but their preparations for the Senegal match have been overshadowed by a pay dispute.

Their players boycotted training on Tuesday, but Mane has warned his side not to underestimate their opponents.

"We saw the kind of football they played against Egypt and they are a very good side. We must be at our best against Uganda," he said.

Africa Cup of Nations last 16

  • Morocco v Benin
  • Uganda v Senegal
  • Nigeria v Cameroon
  • Egypt v South Africa
  • Madagascar v DR Congo
  • Algeria v Guinea
  • Mali v Ivory Coast
  • Ghana v Tunisia

Who else is playing on Friday?

Morocco needed an 89th-minute own goal to get past Namibia in their opening group game and a 90th-minute winner to beat South Africa in their last one.

The Atlas Lions are one of only three teams to emerge from the group stage with a 100% winning record and will fancy their chances against Benin in the early kick-off (17:00 BST).

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AFCON 2019: Morocco coach Herve Renard's journey from binman to bench

Benin advanced without winning a single group game.

However, draws against four-time champions Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Cameroon saw them make progress as one of the best four third-placed teams.

Players to watch

Morocco v Benin

Mbark Boussoufa
Mbark Boussoufa spent three years at Chelsea without making the first team
Mbark Boussoufa
National team: Morocco Position: Midfielder Club: Al-Shabab, Saudi Arabia) Age: 34

Mbark Boussoufa struck Morocco's winner in the dying moments in their last game against South Africa.

Having represented Morocco at the 2018 World Cup, the 34-year-old midfielder is appearing at his third Africa Cup of Nations.

Boussoufa, whose parents are from Morocco, was born in the Netherlands and was in line for a Dutch national team call-up before opting to play his international football for the north African country in 2006.

The former Ajax and Chelsea youth player has played senior club football in Belgium, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, and joined Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab in January.

Uganda v Senegal

Cheikhou Kouyate started his senior career in Belgium before joining West Ham in 2014
Cheikhou Kouyate started his senior career in Belgium before joining West Ham in 2014
Cheikhou Kouyate
National team: Senegal Position: Midfielder Club: Crystal Palace Age: 29

Mane might be getting the headlines for his goals but Cheikhou Kouyate has played his part in propelling Senegal into the knockout stages.

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse retained 16 of the players he took the World Cup last year in his initial squad for the Africa Cup of Nations - including Kouyate.

Crystal Palace's former West Ham midfielder played almost 70 minutes at centre-back in the group win over Tanzania because of an injury.

Like Mane, Kouyate will be key if Senegal are to be crowned champions of Africa.

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