Malawi 0-0 Senegal: Favorites advance to AFCON round of 16 after surviving fear of late penalties
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the enegal qualified for the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations but it was another disappointing performance as they drew 0-0 with Malawi.
Sadio Mane’s penalty against Zimbabwe is the only goal Senegal scored in the group stage, but they progress as Group B winners despite having yet to step up a gear.
Malawi could join them, finishing third in the group with four points. It could have been a lot more for them but a late VAR review overruled the referee’s decision to award a penalty.
An improved display was expected after Senegal were bolstered by the return of Idrissa Gana Gueye, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly to the starting line-up, and they started brilliantly from the kick-off.
The first goal nearly came after seven minutes, when the ball was played low into the box and Mane ran over it, but his six-yard dink had too much of it and went over the bar.
From then on, it turned out to be a real struggle for Senegal. Gabadinho Mhango caused problems behind Koulibaly, while Khuda Muyaba fired a decent shot from distance as Malawi impressed in a low-key first half.
It was much better after the Senegal break, with Habib Diallo having a knocked down effort and Abdou Diallo catching a huge chance when completely free in the box from a free kick.
The Malawi defense started to celebrate every block and save as a goal as they desperately tried to hold on for a point.
It looked like it was going to get even better for them, when Gomezgani Chirwa fell in the box and the referee pointed the spot. However, the decision was harshly overturned after a VAR review, much to the anger of the Malawi players.
Famara Diedhiou stole a decent effort on goal late but it was straight on the goalkeeper as he finished scoreless. Senegal will be relieved to have reached the round of 16, but they will need to improve considerably if they are to go deep into the tournament as expected.
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