The talismanic forward scored the all-important goal for the Teranga Lions to secure their qualification to the final.

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has equalled a nation record after inspiring Senegal to back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations finals. The Lions of Teranga secured a 3-1 win in Wednesday night's semi-final clash with Burkina Faso, with the 29-year-old attacker becoming his country's joint-top goalscorer in all competitions by scoring the all important third goal.

The highly anticipated encounter between Burkina and Senegal was met with a rather uneventful first half which saw the former losing their first-choice goalkeeper Herve Koffi to injury. The play had been marred by the 25-year-old shot-stopper's collision with Senegal's Cheikou Kouyate which had forced his early substitution.

While some had anticipated another low-scoring affair in the second 45 minutes, the script was altered effectively following two quick-fire goals by Senegal. The deadlock was broken in the 70th minute when Abdou Diallo poked home a loose ball that had found its way into the Burkina Faso penalty area from a poorly cleared corner-kick. Six minutes later, a defensive error by Edmond Tapsoba handed Sadio Mane the opportunity to set-up Idrissa Gana Gueye for their side's second.

Burkina were then handed a lifeline in the 82nd minute with Ibrahim Blati Toure scoring to cut down the goal deficit to just one. The Stallions pushed on for an equalizer but ended up being stunned in their bid after Sadio Mane finished off a brilliant counter-attacker attack with an audacious chip in the 87th minute.

Mane's assist and strike took his goal contribution for the tournament to five in six appearances, scoring three goals and assisting two more. In all, the Liverpool attacker has now scored 29 times for Senegal, equaling the record of Henri Camara as the all-time top goalscorer of the country.

Meanwhile, a showdown with his club teammate Mohamed Salah could be in the offing should Egypt defeat hosts Cameroon in the other semi-final of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Who else but the spectacular Sadio Mane to claim the TotalEnergies Man of The Match award #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 | #AFCON2021 | #TeamSenegal | @Football2Gether