Zimbabwe bow out with victory as Senegal, Guinea progress

Zimbabwe 2-1 Guinea

YAOUNDE, Cameroon – With nothing to play for but pride, Zimbabwe’s much-changed team claimed a famous victory over Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Yaounde on Tuesday.

Knowledge Musona’s expertly guided header and Kudakwashe Mahachi’s low drive from outside the box gave Zimbabwe a commanding lead at half time.

The Warriors were pegged back early in the second half when Naby Keita charged towards goal and fired and unstoppable shot with his left foot.

Many feared Zimbabwe would rollover as Guinea launched wave after wave of attacks but Norman Mapeza’s men dug deep to repel the danger.

In victory, Zimbabwe would be frustrated over how their tournament progressed after Senegal snatched a last-minute win from the spot in their first match.

They led Malawi in their second but two defensive lapses gifted the Malawians a 2-1 victory.

Following Tuesday’s results, Senegal – held 0-0 by Malawi – and Guinea qualified for the last 16 from Group B.

Senegal came to the Africa Cup of Nations as one of the favourites but have won only once and scored only once – from a Sadio Mane penalty – in three matches.

After their unconvincing victory over Zimbabwe followed by a 0-0 draw with Guinea, they once again fired blanks as they drew with Malawi in Bafoussam despite the return of stars Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and Idrissa Gueye. They still qualified as group winners with five points.

Guinea’s defeat meant they finished with four points, the same as Malawi but they scraped into the round of 16 as runners-up thanks to a better head-to-head record with Malawi.

Brave Malawi must wait until Thursday to see if they will be among the best four third-placed teams and qualify for the second round.

Malawi believed they should have been awarded a penalty in the second half when Gomezgani Chirwa had his shirt pulled by Bouna Sarr, but the referee disagreed after looking at the VAR monitor.

Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy and Napoli defender Koulibaly missed the first two matches and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Gueye the second due to positive coronavirus tests.

The final Group C matches are scheduled for later Tuesday with Morocco facing Gabon in Yaounde and the Comoros meeting Ghana in Garoua. – Staff Reporter/AFP

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