Senegal Left It Late To Beat Zimbabwe 1-0 in Afcon Opener


Senegal left it late on Monday’s encounter with Zimbabwe to win all three points in the ongoing Afcon 2021 in Bafoussam, Cameroon.

Senegal’s Sadio Mane’s 7 minutes into added time spot kick sealed his team’s 1-0 victory over a resolute Zimbabwean team who would be disappointed to not have earned at least a point from a depleted Senegalese side.

The Lions of Teranga dominated possession as expected but The Warriors remained steady and resolute, averting any danger their opponents brought to them. Senegal continued to pile pressure on one of the ‘minnows’ in Group B, but could not convert any of the chances they created.  

Zimbabwe grew into the game after the half hour mark, as they applied pressure on Africa’s top team, launching a series of counterattacks and forcing Senegal’s shot-stopper, Seny Dieng, to make some saves. The first half ended all square.

Second half began and a far from best Senegal side, who were only able to name 17 players out of 28-man squad owing it to Covid-19 cases and injuries, tried to open the deadlock to no avail. Both teams came close to scoring but failed to find the back of the net.

During extra time, Zimbabwe’s Kelvin Madzongwe touched the ball with a raised arm as he attempted to block a shot by substitute Pape Gueye in the penalty box. After a brief VAR review, the penalty stood and Senegal and Liverpool forward Sadio Mane made no mistake, sending The Warriors’ goalkeeper, Petros Mhari, the wrong way.  Mane’s spectacular performance has also won him the TotalEnergies Man of the Match award. The two teams will play again this Friday.