AFCON 2021: Mane’s Late Penalty Gives Senegal Win Over Zimbabwe
Senegal issued a declaration of their intentions within 45 seconds of the kick-off in 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) heat when Bouna Sarr fired narrowly wide from just outside the box.
Sarr from German and European giants Bayern Munich went even closer midway through the opening half with a shot across the goal that was just off target.
After a quiet start, Mane burst between two defenders on 24 minutes only to see his low shot, aimed at the far corner of the net, blocked by Mhari.
As the half progressed Zimbabwe began to move into Senegalese territory and should have done better from a free-kick inside the D with 30 minutes gone.
Captain Knowledge Musona took the set-piece and should have at least found the target instead of watching his tame attempt go harmlessly wide.
As half-time approached in the western highlands of Cameroon, Mane turned provider, setting up unmarked Gueye, who was let down by his first touch as he prepared to shoot at goal.
A goalless opening half ended with Senegal back on the attack and Fode Ballo-Toure firing into the side netting.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first as Senegal dominated possession without seriously threatening to take the lead.
Mhari rescued Zimbabwe 16 minutes from time when he dived to cut off a cross destined for Mane at the far post.
Senegal survived a scare as full-time loomed with a Zimbabwe free-kick creating a half-chance before the ball was grasped by goalkeeper Seny Dieng.