PORT SAID, Egypt, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Senegal striker Henri
Camara inspired his side to a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in their
opening African Nations Cup Group D match on Monday.
Camara made the breakthrough with a well-taken goal on the
hour and then set up the second for substitute Issa Ba to seal
the points with his first touch of the ball in the 81st minute.
Senegal made life tough for themselves by missing two open
goals in the first half while Zimbabwe's Benjani Mwaruwari
squandered a golden chance to score when Senegal were 1-0 ahead.
The win was a timely boost for the Lions of Teranga, who
surprisingly missed out on a place at the 2006 World Cup finals
as Togo qualified at their expense. Earlier, Nigeria beat Ghana
1-0 in the same group.
Senegal should have gone ahead after five minutes when
Camara chipped the ball over goalkeeper Gift Muzadzi to El Hadji
Diouf, who contrived to miss from two metres.
Somehow, they produced a similar miss in the 28th minute.
This time Diomansy Kamara sprang the offside trap and broke
down the right to reach the byline. After dallying over his
cross, he finally chipped the ball to the far post where the
unmarked Rahmane Barry knocked the ball wide.
Minutes later, they wasted another chance when both Camara
and Barry delayed over shots in the same attack, allowing the
Zimbabwe defenders to block their efforts.
Senegal were also unlucky to be denied a goal in the 32nd
minute when Henri Camara burst through the middle of the
Zimbabwe defence and shot into the corner, only to see his
effort disallowed for handball.
Senegal finally broke the deadlock on the hour when Habib
Baye broke down the left and slipped a perfectly time pass to
Camara, who beat the offside trap, rounded Muzadzi and slotted
the ball into an empty goal.
The goal came one minute after a timely interception by
Ferdinand Coly at the other end foiled Shingarai Kawondera as he
was about to shoot from a dangerous position in the area.
Zimbabwe kept going and Kawondera produced an excellent
cross after breaking down the left but Mwaruwari failed to make
Then it was Zimbabwe's turn to miss a sitter.
Mwaruwari wins ball off a defender in the area and but, with
only goalkeeper Tony Sylva to beat from six metres, dallied over
his shot and fired over the bar.
They paid the price in the 81st minute when Issa Ba added
Senegal's second less then one minute after coming on, scoring
from close range after Camara had cut the ball back from the