AFCON 2021: Sadio Mane’s Late Penalty Gives Senegal Win Over Zimbabwe

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algeria_vs_sierra_leone
Source: CAF

Senegal kicked off their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe, with Sadio Mane scoring a crucial goal just seconds later.

Aliou Cisse’s team did not have about six “starting players” due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which affected the likes of Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly.

But despite allowing its absence, the Teranga Lions failed to meet expectations for most of the game.

Keita Balde summed up their performance early, wasted one of the few clear chances while shooting close, and Mane turned down another good chance.

The match was mostly played by pedestrians in the heat of Bafoussam, but Boulaye Dia entered the match 14 minutes early and looked set to enter Mane to get a tap, only Petros Mhari holding the square ground.

Zimbabwe looked set to wait, but in the final 10 minutes of the suspension, Kelvin Madzongwe fired the ball by mistake, allowing Liverpool star Mane to drive home the resulting penalty.

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