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Morocco into Afcon last 16 with win over Comoros, Senegal held by Guinea | Africa Cup of Nations 2022

Morocco proved too robust for Africa Cup of Nations debutants Comoros, successful 2-0 in Yaoundé to e book their place within the last 16.

Selim Amallah put Morocco in entrance from shut vary after 16 minutes on the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, and the Atlas Lions missed a quantity of probabilities to take management of the sport. Their captain, Romain Saïss, headed a nook towards the crossbar earlier than Ayoub El Kaabi missed two good alternatives after the break.

Morocco ahead Youssef En-Nesyri got here off the bench on his comeback from harm however noticed his late penalty saved by Salim Ben Boina. The Comoros keeper, who performs within the French regional leagues, produced an impressed show however couldn’t preserve out Zakaria Aboukhlal’s stoppage-time strike, initially disallowed for offside however awarded by the VAR.

Vahid Halilhodzic’s aspect have six factors from two matches in Group C and are assured a spot within the last 16, with Gabon and Ghana assembly in Friday’s late match.

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In Group B, Orlando Pirates striker Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango scored twice for Malawi as they shocked southern rivals Zimbabwe with a 2-1 victory, boosting their hopes of a first-ever look within the Afcon knockout phases.

Frank Mhango (left) celebrates his second goal for Malawi in their win over Zimbabwe.
Frank Mhango (left) celebrates his second purpose for Malawi of their win over Zimbabwe. {Photograph}: BackpagePix/Shutterstock

Ishmael Wadi put Zimbabwe forward within the first half, however Mhango levelled simply earlier than the break in Bafoussam, changing Francisco Madinga’s cross on the far publish. Mhango struck once more within the 58th minute as he took benefit of some hesitant defending and provided a poacher’s end.

Victory was the Flames’ second ever win at an Afcon finals, after beating Algeria in 2010. Elsewhere in Group B, pre-tournament favourites Senegal didn’t sparkle as they had been held to a 0-0 draw by Guinea within the early kick-off.

Senegal coach Aliou Cissé was with out 10 gamers because of Covid-19, together with centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, first-choice goalkeeper Édouard Mendy and midfielder Idrissa Gueye. Guinea had been lacking 4 gamers for the derby sport in Bafoussam.

The Senegal captain, Sadio Mané, had an opportunity from a close-range free kick early within the sport, however struck the wall with his effort. Mané was largely overshadowed within the opening half by his Liverpool teammate Naby Keïta, who break up the Senegal defence with a via ball. Seny Dieng did nicely to disclaim Ilaix Moriba earlier than Morgan Guilavogui botched the rebound.

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Sadio Mané on the ball for Senegal. {Photograph}: BackpagePix/Shutterstock

Bouna Sarr’s looking free kick was near delivering the primary purpose as Senegal improved within the second half. Centre-back Abdou Diallo powered a header simply over the crossbar earlier than Sarr fired large after being arrange by Mané. The draw means each groups are more likely to progress with 4 factors from two video games.

“It’s been very tough for us with all of these lacking gamers,” Cisse mentioned after the match. Senegal face Malawi of their ultimate group sport on Tuesday, with Guinea taking up backside aspect Zimbabwe in Yaoundé.

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