Guinea, featuring star players like Naby Keita, Ilaix Moriba, and Amadou Diawara, overcame Malawi’s challenge in their opening game in AFCON 2021. The National Elephants slipped past the Flames with a just a single goal, scored by their left-back, Issiaga Sylla, in 35th minute.
The team from West Africa was more dominant on the pitch, holding 65% ball possession throughout the game. They came in as a favorite to defeat Malawi, as their opponents suffered a huge hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. The Flames will, however, be able to slowly pick up their squad as at least 5 players will be back with the team for their second game of the Group Stage against Zimbabwe.
🇬🇳 #TeamGuinea’s mastermind 🧠
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 10, 2022
Naby Keita was named Man of the Match for Guinea as his masterclass performance in the midfield made a huge difference. The National Elephants’ goalkeeper also played a significant role for the overall success. Aly Keita made some brilliant saves denying Malawi’s offense from equalizing the score.
The National Elephants will look to make the best out of the current squad as qualifying for the Knockout Stage is mission minimum for them. Naby Keita and Amadou Diawara are ready to reach new heights with Guinea during this edition of AFCON.
𝐇𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐋𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓𝐒: 🇬🇳 1 – 0 🇲🇼
— #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 🏆 (@CAF_Online) January 11, 2022
The national football team of Malawi makes its third appearance in AFCON. Their previous experience came from 1984 and 2010. They didn’t manage to go past the Group State on both occasions, despite starting with a convincing 3-0 win over Algeria in 2010.
Guinea will face off Senegal in their next fixture in Group B. Liverpool’s teammates, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane, will go head-to-head for yet another time in their careers. Senegal will try to take revenge for the loss in the African Nations Championship’s Qualifications when they were eliminated by Guinea in overtime.
Malawi, on the other hand, will have a bit easier task facing off Zimbabwe. The Warriors put on a good fight against Senegal, but a decisive last-minute penalty kick took a point away from them. Malawi had a lot of players sidelined for the game against Guinea. Most of them will return to the squad which will surely help them overcome Zimbabwe’s challenge.