Senegal 2-0 Zimbabwe
SENEGAL defeated Zimbabwe 2-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations Group B clash in Franceville last night to become the first team to book a place in the quarter-finals.
Combined with Tunisia’s 2-1 win over Algeria earlier in the evening, the Teranga Lions’ victory — secured by first-half goals from Sadio Mane and Henri Saivet — assures them of progression to the knockout stages.
Senegal were on the front foot from the first whistle and it was no surprise when Sadio Mane put them 1-0 up in the ninth minute. The Liverpool player turned Keita Balde’s low cross into an empty net after a swift counter attack from the West Africans.
Four minutes later it was 2-0, with Henri Saivet scoring one of the best goals of the tournament thus far. The midfielder found the back of the net direct from a free kick about 25 metres out, giving Zimbabwe goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva no chance.
Zimbabwe took a while to find their feet in the game, but they bossed the last 15 minutes of the first half in terms of possession and territory. However, they were nowhere near as dangerous in attack and Senegal’s defence looked more than capable of soaking up whatever was thrown at them.
The Warriors made a double change at the start of the second half, sending on Tendai Ndoro and Evans Rusike, but it was Senegal who returned to attacking dominance and would have extended their advantage were it not for some sub-par finishing from Mame Biram Diouf.
Senegal created further chances for the likes of Mane and Balde, while Zimbabwe threatened only sporadically — though Nyasha Mushekwi did force a sharp save out of Abdoulaye Diallo with just under 20 minutes to play. The teams will play their final Group B matches on Monday, January 23: Senegal will battle Algeria in Franceville, while Zimbabwe will tackle Tunisia in Libreville.
Senegal: Abdoulaye Diallo, Kara Mbodj, Cheikh M’Bengue, Cheikhou Kouyate (Cheikh N’Doye 85’), Lamine Gassama, Kalidou Koulibaly, Keita Baldé Diao, Henri Saivet, Idrissa Gueye, Sadio Mane (Ismaila Sarr 90’), Mame Biram Diouf (Moussa Sow 62’)
Zimbabwe: Tatenda Mkuruva, Costa Nhamoinesu, Elisha Muroiwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Onismor Bhasera, Marvelous Nakamba, Khama Billiat, Kudakwashe Mahachi (Tendai Ndoro 46’), Willard Katsande, Matthew Rusike (Evans Rusike 46’), Nyasha Mushekwi (Cuthbert Malajila 83’)
Article Source: The Chronicle