Afcon 2021: Senegal to kick off title quest against Zimbabwe
Senegal will begin their quest for a first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title by taking on Zimbabwe at the Bafoussam OmnisportKouekong Stadium on Monday.
The Teranga Lions missed out on gold in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 losing by a lone goal in the final to Algeria.
Senegal also lost the 2002 final on penalties to Cameroon leaving them still craving for their maiden Afcon title.
Led by Liverpool star Sadio Mane, Senegal will be hoping for a different outcome in Cameroon but first they have to negotiate past Zimbabwe in their opening fixture.
Coach Aliou Cisse team for the tournament in Cameroon is headlined by Premier League stars Edouard Mendy of Chelsea, Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Chiekhou Kouyate of Crystal Palace.
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye and Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly are also in the squad.
Meanwhile, The Warriors have only made five appearances at the Afcon and have never made it past the Group stages.
Zimbabwe will be hoping to defy all odds and man an appearance in the knockout stages.
However, they will be limited following the retirement of South Africa-based star Khama Billiat, the absence of Tendayi Darikwa and injuries to Marshal Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba and recently capped defender Brendan Galloway who were expected to form the spine of the Afcon squad.
Elsewhere in group B, Guinea will open their campaign at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 against Malawi at Koeukong Stadium in Bafoussam in what will be the first encounter between the two sides in this tournament.