Senegal climb atop Group C after hard-fought draw vs. South Africa

Senegal's defender Kara Mbodji (R) celebrates after scoring his side's equalizer vs. South Africa in Mongomo.

CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

MONGOMO, Equatorial Guinea —

Senegal came back for a 1-1 draw with South Africa to move top of Group C at the African Cup of Nations on Friday.

Defender Serigne Mbodji equalized with a thumping header in the 61st minute after Senegal had fallen behind to Oupa Manyisa’s goal early in the second half.

The Senegalese also had a goal disallowed three minutes before Mbodji’s header, when Sadio Mane’s strike was ruled out for offside. It was a tight call.

Group C is wide open, with favorite Algeria and Ghana a point behind on three points after Ghana’s 1-0 win earlier on Friday. South Africa is bottom and has the toughest task to make the quarterfinals.

Senegal fought back for the second time at the Cup of Nations after the last-minute 2-1 win over Ghana in its opener.