Home » Senegal march to top of Group C with comfortable win over already-qualified Guinea

Senegal march to top of Group C with comfortable win over already-qualified Guinea

Senegal celebrate after scoring against Guinea
Senegal ended their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) group stage with a 100% record, as they eased past Guinea with a 2-0 win to top Group C. The National Elephants duly finish third in the group, but are guaranteed to progress as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The reigning AFCON champions came into this top-of-the-group clash knowing their spot in the knockout stages was already guaranteed. Tensions still flared in the opening exchanges regardless, but once the dust settled, Senegal took charge of the contest, albeit without troubling Ibrahim Kone between the sticks.

Aliou Cisse’s side had previously been fast starters, netting inside the opening 20 minutes in four of their last five games, yet neither side managed a shot on goal before the half-hour mark.

In fact, a pair of deflected efforts from Nampalys Mendy was as close as the Lions of Teranga came to breaking the first-half deadlock, with tempers boiling over once more on the stroke of half-time.

Senegal kicked off the second period with renewed attacking impetus, eventually carving a golden opportunity when Sadio Mane raced clear of the Guinea backline. However, having rounded Koné and with the goal at his mercy, the two-time African Footballer of the Year uncharacteristically skewed his finish wide.

Thankfully for the Senegalese, that miss was quickly forgotten minutes later, as Abdoulaye Seck connected with a searching Krepin Diatta free-kick delivery, heading home the game’s first shot on target and his first-ever AFCON goal.

That goal encouraged Guinea to come out of their shell, although clear-cut chances proved hard to come by, as the favourites added gloss to the scoreline with an assured liman Ndiaye finish that sealed Senegal’s record-breaking eighth group stage goal.

Senegal are now undefeated in 10 AFCON finals games (W8, D2), keeping clean sheets in seven of those thanks to a fantastic late save from Edouard Mendy.

They have finished the group stage with a perfect record, having conceded just one goal across their last seven internationals. Meanwhile, Guinea’s disappointment will be short-lived as they look forward to knockout football, squeezing through as one of the top third-placed sides.