AFCON 2021: Mane Strikes Late, Late Penalty as Senegal Steals Victory Against Zimbabwe

AFCON 2021: Mane Strikes Late, Late Penalty as Senegal Steals Victory Against Zimbabwe

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:54 PM
In this article:
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  • Senegal had to huff and puff in the hot sun of Bafoussam sun to see off a determined but overmatched Zimbabwe
  • The Lions of Teranga can thank Liverpool striker Sadio Mane's last second penalty for the 1-0 win after a VAR-confirmed handball by Kelvin Madzonge
  • Mane was announced as man-of-the-match, but Zimbabwe goalkeeper Kelvin Madzonge will feel aggrieved after a fine and defiant performance between the sticks

Favourites Senegal had to toil for their 1-0 win against Zimbabwe in the opening match of group B at the 2021 African Cup of Nations.

Sadio Mane lashed in a penalty with the last kick of the game that took place at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam. The Warriors' Kelvin Madzongue handled the ball while diving in to block a shot with just seconds of added to go, leaving referee Mario Escobar with no choice but to point to the spot after a VAR consultation.

2021, african cup of nations, afcon, cameroon, bafoussam, sadio mane, petros mhari, zimbabwe, senegal, kouekong stadium
Senegal's Sadio Mane bears down on Zimbabwe goalkeeper Petros Mhari. Image source: Pius Utomi Ekpei/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The Lions of Teranga were expected to comfortably dispatch of Zimbabwe in line with both teams' ranking, Senegal being ranked number one on the continent, while Zimbabwe sits at number 25. Truthfully, the west Africans were largely in control of a dour encounter in the humid conditions which slowed down the pace of the match considerably.

Senegal were comfortable in defence all afternoon, while Zimbabwe were passionate and disciplined against a marauding team seen as favourites to win the tournament by general consensus.

Zimbabwe had 11 shots at goal with just two on target, while Senegal fired in 16, though just four bothered the goalkeeper, including a tame shot by Mane with just goalkeeper Petros Mhari to beat.

Mane was announced as the man-of-the-match, though Warriors goalkeeper Petros Mhari can count himself unlucky after an impressive and defiant performance on the line.

Senegal continues its conquest to glory on Friday against Guinea in a west African collision, while Malawai gets to put its campaign back on track against Malawi in a COSAFA tussle later that day.

Cape Verde sinks 10-Man Ethiopia to kickstart campaign in Cameroon

Meanwhile, Sports Brief also reports that Cape Verde kicked off its 2021 AFCON campaign in Cameroon on a positive note after seeing off 10-man Ethiopia 1-0 in their Group A opener.

Julio Tavares fired Cape Verde into the lead minutes just before the break.

Cape Verde's slim win has them sitting second in Group A behind hosts Cameroon, separated by goal difference.

Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
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