From the Dakar the capital to the hinterland, the entire Senegal erupted in jubilation when substitute Cheick N'doye blasted a rocket from 25 yards out to score Senegal's second goal in added time at the National Stadium in Praia. The victory propelled the Lions of Terranga to the summit of group D on eight points, two point ahead of their nearest rivals Burkina Faso as well as their hosts Cape Verde.
The result on Saturday night left the group wide open going into the last qualifiers in November. Last placed South Africa is a further two points adrift on four points after their victory against Burkina Faso earlier that day. The victory was crucial to keep South Africa's Russian dreams alive as their last two games are against group leaders Senegal.
South Africans could not help but join the Senegalese in celebration because the win just as important to them. Although some sections of the soccer loving population has all but lost hope in seeing Bafana Bafana coming up against creme de la creme of world soccer in Russia next year optimists speak of a silver lining, albeit a faint one. In essence all South Africa has to do is win both fixtures against Senegal, home and away, and Russia beckons.