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26 Jan, 2022 10:51

Concern after Senegal star Mane plays on – and scores – after horror head clash (VIDEO)

The Liverpool ace scored later but could not finish Senegal's AFCON match against Cape Verde
Concern after Senegal star Mane plays on – and scores – after horror head clash (VIDEO)

Concerns were raised after Liverpool forward Sadio Mane was allowed to continue for Senegal in an Africa Cup of Nations clash against Cape Verde despite suffering a nasty head knock.

The incident occurred in the 53rd minute of the last 16 match with the score still tied at 0-0.

Mane was chasing a long ball upfield, and collided in mid-air with Vozinha who was shown a red card before being stretchered off and taken to hospital.

In addition to bumping into the opposition goalkeeper, Mane also smacked his head nastily on the turf.

Fans and pundits expressed shock online with the fact that proper protocol was not followed by Senegal and tournament organizers.

Rather than hauling the Champions League winner off with a suspected concussion, they allowed him to play on with Mane scoring the opener nine minutes later against the minnows, who had been reduced to nine men after Patrick Andrade was also red-carded midway through the first half for a challenge on Pape Gueye.

Hitting the ball in off the crossbar after it dropped to him at the back post following a corner, Mane was clearly still in pain as a result of his knock.

As a lengthy VAR review ensued to check for a possible foul before his goal was scored, he slumped to the grass of the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam and was eventually brought off with the help of other players. 

The few minutes that Mane was allowed to soldier on were dubbed "shambolic", as a BBC reporter in Cameroon said that the head clash was "really uncomfortable to watch."

"It was clear that the Liverpool forward was knocked out as he fell and hit his head again on the turf – he looked like a defeated boxer."

"Meanwhile, the Cape Verde keeper couldn't walk straight before being ushered away by his teammates following his red card. But it's the aftermath that raises questions. Why wasn't Mane substituted straight away?" it was asked.

A fan on Twitter dubbed the debacle a "shocking series of events" and said that the Vozinha dismissal was "bizarre".

"Mane should have been withdrawn immediately – after the collision he fell like a rag doll, eyes rolling back in his head. Senegal didn’t need him versus nine-man Cape Verde," he added.

Senegal manager Aliou Cisse revealed that Mane had been taken to hospital after his 70th-minute exit.

"He felt faint, his head was spinning and he had to go there," explained Cisse.

Later on social media, Mane confirmed this too by posting an Instagram story showing himself smiling from a hospital bed with Vozinha, as the still-kittled pair gave the camera a thumbs up.

With Mane's replacement Bamba Dieng making it 2-0 in stoppage time, 2002 and 2019 runners-up Senegal advanced to the quarterfinals where they will face either Mali or Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.