The Teranga Lions were lucky to score a late penalty to kick start their TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021 on a winning note.
It was a very difficult match for Senegal against Zimbabwe having had some players miss out because they tested positive for COVID-19.
But a late penalty converted by star player Sadio Mane with four added minutes was enough to give Senegal a winning start in Group B in a match played today at the Kouekong Stadium in Baffoussam.
The Liverpool forward made no mistake beating the Warriors’ goalkeeper Petros Mhari from the spot. Substitute Pape Gueye’s shot was blocked by defender Kelvin Wilbert and the referee awarded a penalty after the ball came off his arm.
The Senegal team dominated play right from the start with Keita Balde and Mane running rings around, but the Zimbabwe defenders stood tall. the
Another effort by Idrissa Gueye who plies his trade with Paris Saint-Germain in France also was also stopped by Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper.
Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona also had his effort miss the target. The Senegal team continued to attack looking for a goal, but the Warriors showed high levels of team work defending in numbers.
Goal scorer Sadio Mane said although it was a tough match, it was nice to start with a win. “We shall keep working hard in each match,” added Mane.
Senegal, the 2019 AFCON runners-up now go top of Group B before Guinea face Malawi later.