from ROSY SADOU in Yaoundé, Cameroon
YAOUNDE, (CAJ News) – SENEGAL left it late to secure a narrow win over Zimbabwe in the opening Africa Cup of Nations Group B encounter at the Kouekong Stadium on Monday.
Talisman, Saio Mane, scored with the last kick of the match, from the penalty spot, to secure victory for the unconvincing Teranga Lions.
The gallant Zimbabweans will feel hard done by referee Mario Escobar, who adjudged foul play by Kelvin Madzongwe inside the box, deep into injury time.
He received a yellow card and his team punished with a penalty.
Mane, the Liverpool forward, showed nerves of steel to send goalkeeper, Petros Mhari, the wrong way.
It was forecast to be a stroll in the park for the West Africans that are the continent’s highest ranked team but they came unstuck against the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
Senegal, who struggled to shift from first gear all afternoon, found the Zimbabwe defence impenetrable.
On the few occasions they breached the backline, Mhari thwarted their efforts.
Zimbabwe had a rare chance to take the lead late in the game after captain Knowledge Musona’s setpiece from the right caused commotion inside the Senegalese box but goalkeeper Seny Dieng smothered the effort with the Zimbabweans hesitant.
Musona later limped off injured.
The match seemed destined for a share of the spoils until at the death when Madzongwe was adjudged to have handled.
Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza now has to turn his attention to motivate his players for the next match against Malawi on Friday.
Senegal will play Guinea.
– CAJ News