The African Cup of Nations kicked off on Monday, and Sadio Mané is already off to a flying starting. Senegal took on Zimbabwe in the opening fixture in Bafoussam. Though the match remained tight through all of normal time, Senegal were gifted a penalty in injury time. Zimbabwe defender Kelvin Madzongwe got called for a handball in the box.
Mané stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted home the spot kick at 90’+7’, scoring the game’s only goal and rescuing his team from an opening upset. Senegal were runners-up in the tournament in 2019 and are the favorites this time around.
Mané played the whole match as Senegal began Group B action. Another Group B team, Guinea, also earned an opening day victory. Naby Keita and his compatriots beat Malawi 1-0. Keita played the whole match as well, though it was a much less dramatic affair. Issiaga Sylla scored in the 35th minute for Guinea, and that proved to be all they needed to see out the game and earn three points.
Next the joint group leaders with play each other on Friday, so fans can watch Mané and Keita compete against each other for control of their group.
Mohamed Salah and Egypt start their campaign on Tuesday when they take on Nigeria.