AFCON: Sadio Mane says ‘all good’ after concussion scare
Sadio Mané got up from a horrible clash of heads that left him dazed on the ground, possibly with a concussion, to score a goal and help put Senegal into the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday.
Senegal won 2-0 against Cape Verde, which had two players sent off in the last 16 game in Cameroon’s western city of Bafoussam. The Liverpool star didn’t finish the match and later was taken to the hospital, though he said on social media that he was OK.
In the Senegal-Cape Verde game, Cape Verde’s second red card was dished out to goalkeeper Vozinha when he raced out of his area and tried to head a ball clear with Mané chasing it down. The players’ heads clashed badly as they leaped in the air and Vozinha clearly sustained a concussion as he tried to get up afterward and ended up staggering around.
Vozinha left on a stretcher and wasn’t around to see the red card referee Lahlou Benbraham held up for him.
But questions will be raised over Mané being allowed to continue after he hit the ground face first following the collision, rolled over and lay still on his back for a moment, clearly dazed, possibly with a concussion.
Mané dragged himself to his feet and scored less than 10 minutes later in the 63rd minute when a corner kick fell to him beyond the far post, and he sent a right-footed shot in off the crossbar.
The Liverpool forward was eventually substituted in the 70th minute, clearly struggling. It was more than 15 minutes after sustaining the head knock that appeared serious enough for him to be taken off immediately.
Mané later posted a photo on Facebook of him and Vozinha together and smiling at the hospital, with the words: “Everything is good. Thank you to everyone for the messages!” The Senegal star was sitting upright in his hospital bed, with Vozinha standing alongside.
Mané’s injury again focused attention on soccer’s struggle to deal effectively and safely with concussions. The issue has been high-profile in recent years, with the game criticized for allowing players to play on after having sustained dangerous head injuries.