Let’s take a look at the Player Ratings from the AFCON match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at the Kouekong Stadium in Cameroon.
A last-gasp penalty from Sadio Mane ensured Senegal a dramatic 1-0 opening day win over Zimbabwe.
Despite the absence of several key players, including captain Kalidou Koulibaly and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, due to coronavirus, Senegal dominated the contest in Kouekong for large periods.
But while Aliou Cisse’s side dominated possession, they struggled to make their advantage count. They came close several times to scoring, only to see the scoreline remain goalless throughout normal time.
Then, right in the seventh minute of added time in the second half, Senegal’s prays were answered.
Zimbabwe midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe handled the ball while attempting to block a shot from substitute Pape Gueye. After a VAR review, referee Mario Escoba pointed to the spot to award a penalty.
Mane then stepped up to fire home the spot-kick, ensuring Senegal a winning start to their AFCON campaign with his 27th international goal.
Zimbabwe, who had a poor start in comparison, grew in confidence as the game wore on. The Warriors didn’t deserve defeat, having held their own against the Group B favorites right until the final seconds of the match.
Norman Mapeza’s men leave with no points to their name, while Senegal take all three to top the Group B table. The West Africans next face Guinea this Friday, while Zimbabwe meet Malawi on the same day.
Heartbreak for Zimbabwe! 💔
Sadio Mané slots home an added-time penalty to give Senegal the win 🇸🇳 pic.twitter.com/VLUoqWmxta
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 10, 2022
Senegal: Dieng (7); Mbaye (6), Cisse (8), Diallo (7), Toure (7); Sarr (8), Kouyate (6), Gueye (7); Dia (5), Mane (8), Balde (6).
Bench: Diallo (5), Gueye (6).
Zimbabwe: Mhari (6); Chimwemwe (6), Takwara (7), Hadebe (5), Bhasera (6); W. Madzongwe (5); Wadi (6), Musona (6), Benyu (6), Kangwa (6); Dube (5).
Bench: Kadewere (5), Tigere (5), Kamusoko (6).