ZIMBABWE matched Senegal in regulation time before falling 1-0 to a last gasp penalty by Sadio Mane in their opening Group B match of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon this afternoon.
The Warriors had done well to restrict their opponents and were on course to force a draw and pick up a precious point before midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe was adjudged to have blocked a goal-bound shot using his hand.
He received a yellow card for the offence.
Liverpool forward Mane sent goalkeeper Petros Mhari the wrong way from the resultant spot kick.
Mhari had kept his team in the game by commanding his goal area well with brilliant catches while the rearguard also repelled everything their opponents threw at them.
The Warriors will perhaps feel unlucky that their gallant performance did not earn a precious point it probably deserved.
Although they did create many clear-cut chances, Zimbabwe had some good moments in the game with the hard-running Ishmael
Wadi taking on the Senegalese defence.
It is now back to the drawing board for coach Norman Mapeza and his technical team as they plot Malawi’s downfall in their next match on Friday.