Africa Cup of Nations Day 2: Sadio Mane scores the winner in the last minute while Morocco beats Ghana at the end of the match
After hosts Cameroon and Cabo Verde started the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations with wins on Sunday, four more fixtures were held on day two – with late drama a regular theme throughout.
The opening game of the day was not settled until the sixth minute of the stoppage time, when Sadio Mane buried a penalty in added time to give Senegal a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe. It took a long time for the competition favorites to find the breakthrough despite strong dominance of possession, with the threat of a counterattack always presenting the possibility of upset.
It was a similar story when Morocco met Ghana, with Sofiane Boufal scoring the winner and the only goal of the game just seven minutes to go. Goalkeeper Joseph Wollacott had to make several late saves to prevent the score from widening further in the finals. Comoros and Gabon, the other two Nations in Group C, met later on Monday evening. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was absent for Gabon after testing positive for Covid but his team won the match thanks to a well-taken strike from a narrow angle from Aaron Boupendza in the first half.
Meanwhile, Guinea beat Malawi by the same score of 1-0 to join Senegal at the top of Group B.
Issiaga Sylla scored the lone goal in the 35th minute after a good job down the left flank from Naby Keita and Jose Kante, but it only came after Malawi’s Yamikani Chester missed two glorious one-on-one chances at the other end – a weak shot saved, before losing ground for the second. Guinea, coached by former national team striker Kaba Diawara – briefly from Arsenal in the late 1990s – were indebted to goalkeeper Aly Keita who made several first-half saves to keep them ahead, Malawi having arguably created the most impressive chances despite the final match. -the winners control possession.
Tuesday’s matches will see the nations of Mohamed Salah, Riyad Mahrez and Kelechi Iheanacho all in action, with Nigeria v Egypt being the highlight of the day when kick-off at 4pm.