Sadio Mané (Getty Images)
Liverpool teammates Sadio Mané and Naby Keita became rivals on Friday, captaining Senegal and Guinea in Group B’s Matchday 2 deadlock at the Africa Cup of Nations.
With few chances to score in the afternoon heat of Buffsam, Senegal had a more wasteful side in the confrontation between countries that was expected to occupy the top two in the finals.
Guinea and Senegal will enter the final round of the group match on Tuesday, sharing a lead with 4 points each. The difference in goals determines which one ends first.
“The Guineans made a good impression in the first half, but after half-time they became a more convincing team and looked like a winner,” said Senegalese coach Aliou Cissé.
Guinea coach Kaba Diawara said, “Senegal is one of the top teams in Africa, so it was okay to force a draw and stay goalless.”
Malawi and Zimbabwe will meet in the second doubleheader match later Friday and both will need maximum points to get a realistic chance of reaching the second round.
Both South African countries are unlikely to overtake Guinea and Senegal, but if they win, they could enter the 16th round as one of the best four teams in third place.
It was the third clash between West African neighbors, where Senegal scored the previous two by one goal in 1994 and 2006.
Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye was excluded because he tested positive for the coronavirus and joined fellow stars Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly alone.
Chelsea goalkeeper Kalidou Koulibaly signed with Covid-19 before the opening round, and Senegal won the final blow to Zimbabwe with a mane penalty.
Played in a heat of 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit), the opening half was dominated by defenses where Guinea wasted the only clear chance.
A quick counterattack by Syli Nationale surpassed the slowly retreating Senegalese, but Morgan Guilavogui hit goalkeeper Seny Dieng.
The ball then loosened with a goalmouth, and Senegal hurriedly cleared the ball at the expense of a futile corner.
Manet, who reigns as the African Player of the Year, has little chance of making an impact, and teammate Bouna Sarr has taken a chance from a short-range free kick by firing at the defensive wall.
Guinea won the first half corner count 7-2, left the pitch in half-time and was pleased with the successful interaction with the 2019 Cup of Nations runner-up.
Senegal improved significantly early in the second half with the 20,000-seat Stade Kouekong in the highlands of western Cameroon, but was disappointed by the poor finish.
Unmarked Boulaye Dia failed to connect with a free kick, and Abdou Diallo was brilliantly overturned by Guinean goalkeeper Aly Keita, missing a chance in a distant post.
Saar was set up with a powerful mane run, and Keita wasted a big chance just by defeating the defender with helplessness.
Liverpool duo Manet and Keita will be rivals in Africa, so there is no goal
Source link Liverpool duo Manet and Keita will be rivals in Africa, so there is no goal