Keïta suspended for Guinea’s last-16 tie after card in surprise loss to Zimbabwe

Already-eliminated Zimbabwe upset Guinea with a 2-1 win at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Yaounde, although Guinea will still advance to the last 16 as runners-up in Group B.

Guinea’s captain, the Liverpool midfielder Naby Keïta, will however miss their knockout tie after he was shown a second yellow card of the group stage by Salima Mukansanga, the first ever woman to officiate a game at the tournament.

Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona and Kudakwashe Mahachi both scored in the first half to earn their side a farewell win after losing their opening two matches as they finished last in the group. Keïta pulled a goal back for Guinea early in the second half with an excellent strike from the edge of the box, but they could not find an equaliser as a makeshift Zimbabwe side held firm to snap a 14-match winless run stretching back to last March.

Senegal finished top of the group after a goalless draw against Malawi in Bafoussam. Malawi were level with Guinea on four points but Guinea finished second based on their head-to-head result.

Keïta now misses Guinea’s last-16 match in Bafoussam on 24 January against the runner-up in Group F, whose identity will be decided on Thursday. Rwandan Mukansanga grew increasingly weary of Keïta’s persistent complaints about Zimbabwean time wasting and booked him in the last minute.

Zimbabwe were already out of contention and were the first team to be mathematically eliminated after they lost to Malawi on Thursday.

“We go home with some pride and that is what is important for us,” said Zimbabwe coach Norman Mapeza.


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