Sports / Updates
Friday, 20 Jan 2017 12:02 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane scored as Senegal beat Zimbabwe to become the first team to reach the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations quarter finals. Mane tapped in the opener from close range in the ninth minute from Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao's low cross. Mane also had a lob cleared off the line by Costa Nhamoinesu.
Henri Saivet, on loan at St Etienne from Newcastle, struck home a brilliant 20 yard free-kick four minutes later. Stoke City's Mame Biram Diouf should have increased Senegal's advantage, but blazed his left-foot shot over the crossbar. Khama Billiat wasted a good chance for Zimbabwe just before half-time when he fired tamely at Abdoulaye Diallo. The keeper also produced a good block to keep out Nyasha Mushekwi's drive.
In an earlier Group B match, Tunisia boosted their chances of reaching the quarter-finals after they with a 2-1 win over neighbors Algeria. Tunisia went into the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Senegal and knew anything other than victory against the Desert Foxes would have left them in serious trouble.
The Carthage Eagles took the lead in the 50th minute when Algeria's Aissa Mandi directed Youssef Msakni's left-wing cross into his own net. Some dreadful defending by Faouzi Ghoulam led to him bringing down Sunderland's Wahbi Khazri for a penalty in the 66th minute which Naim Sliti coolly slotted into the right corner.
Algeria pulled a goal back in the first minute of added time when Sofiane Hanni struck from the edge of the area. Algeria, who had been one of the pre-tournament favourites, will have to rely on other results going their way if they are to qualify from the group and they have to face Senegal in their final group match.
The Lions of Teranga have a maximum six points from two games in Group B. Tunisia are second with three points and both Algeria and Zimbabwe have a point each.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.