Sadio Mané scores as Senegal survive Zimbabwean scare
By Diamelle Denson
Senegal have survived a Zimbabwean scare on matchday one of group B in Kouekong stadium Bafoussam, western Cameroon.
The Teranga Lions, listed among top favourites of the 24-nation tournament by former Nigerian international and Super Eagles’ coach, Sunday Oliseh, and ex Indomitable Lion Patrick Mboma, needed to uphold this status during the launch of their Afcon campaign, Monday 9 January.
Zimbabwe would not let that happen easily.
From the start until near stoppage time, the Knowledge Musonda-led Warriors held on, producing scoring chances before falling short of finishing.
The Zimbabweans resisted throughout regular time before things eventually crumbled during the last of four additional minutes.
Kelvin Madzongwe handled substitute Papa Gueye’s strike, prompting the referee to point to the spot.
Liverpool hitman Sadio Mané fired the ball into the net to win it for Aliou Cissé’s team. A harsh defeat for Warriors who had put up brave fight.
Mane’s spot-kick means he is now record scorer for his country in the nations cup with six goals.
Senegal did it, but the hard way given conspicuous absentees like Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who went into isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
Senegal are still to win the nations cup crown in their history. They came close in 2019 before acrimoniously losing the final to Algeria. Their next game comes up next Friday against Guinea.
The Guineans defeated Malawi one nil in the second match of group B in Kouekong stadium.
MATCHDAY 1 – Monday 9 January
Senegal 1-0 Zimbabwe
Guinea 1-0 Malawi
Morocco 1-0 Ghana
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