Liverpool forward Sadio Mane became Senegal's all-time top scorer after scoring three goals today in his side's opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
Bayern-linked Mane sends 'warning' to Liverpool, scores hat trick against Benin
Mane scored two penalties in either half and another goal to surpass Henri Camara as Senegal's all-time top scorer.
Mane scored two penalties in either half against Benin Republic and another goal to ensure his tally of 31 goals, had him, surpass Henri Camara as Senegal's all-time top scorer.
Before the showdown with fellow West African side Benin, Mane had scored 29 goals for Senegal: level with Camara, who played for African champions between 1999 and 2008.
With just 12 minutes into the game, the 30-year-old put his country ahead from the penalty spot after David Kiki handled the ball in the box.
Mane extended Senegal's lead 10 minutes later, shooting Nampalys Mendy's assist past goalkeeper Saturnin Allagbe.
Senegal got another boost in the 51st minute as Sessi D'Almeida was sent off, thereby ending Benin's chances of making a comeback.
The reigning African Player of the Year then completed his treble with a penalty at the hour mark after Ismaila Sarr was fouled in the box.
Aliou Cisse's men were unable to extend their lead despite multiple scoring opportunities and the visitors' numerical disadvantage and, substitute Junior Olaitan got one back for the Squirrels in the 88th minute.
Mane's brilliant performance comes after he reportedly informed the Anfield hierarchy of the decision of his intention to seek greener pastures new ahead of next season, amid mounting links with German champions Bayern Munich.