January 18, (THEWILL) – Senegal qualified for the knockout phase of the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as Group B winners after a goalless draw with Malawi thanks to a late penalty save.
The Teranga Lions were one of the favourites going into the competition, and while they finished first in their group with five points, it was far from a convincing display.
Malawi appeared to be the more dangerous team in the first half, with Gabadinho Mhango coming close with a couple of long-range attempts.
Senegal did challenge Malawi goalkeeper Charles Thom early in the second half, with Abdou Diallo’s header being pushed narrowly over, but it was far from a hint of impending domination.
With 15 minutes remaining, Malawi appeared to be on the verge of taking the lead when Bouna Sarr was penalised for seeming to foul Gomezgani Chirwa, but the judgement was reversed after a VAR check, much to the Flames’ chagrin.
As a result, Senegal finished first in the group, ensuring that they will face one of the best third-placed teams, while Malawi finished third behind Guinea due to a previous loss to them.