By Mugove Chigada in Franceville, Gabon
SENEGALESE star Sadio Mane believes they need to respect Zimbabwe when they clash in the second round of Group B matches at the Afcon finals in Gabon.
The Warriors left an unforgettable impression in their 2-2 draw with Algeria on Sunday evening.
Senegal reacted by dismissing Tunisia 2-0 in the second game played at the Stade de Franceville.
The Liverpool star watched Khama Billiat dazzling for Zimbabwe in a game the Warriors could have won and concluded that it’s game on.
“Obviously every team has a chance in this tournament. Everybody saw the game; how Zimbabwe played showed that they are very good,” said Mane.
Callisto Pasuwa’s charges had not been given a chance in this group, but their opening match seems to have changed opinion here.
Despite going down to an early Riyad Mahrez goal, the Warriors fought back and scored through Kuda Mahachi and Nyasha Mushekwi.
Mane, who is one of the biggest stars at the Afcon, said the Lions of Teranga have to be at their best if they are to beat Zimbabwe.
“So we have to fight mentally because we are also under pressure to win. The most important thing is to take it game by game. The most important thing is that we won the first game, beat Tunisia and I’m happy with the three points,” said Mane.
Senegal have been perennial Afcon underachievers and Mane said it was normal that a team with so many stars doing well at their respective clubs can find it difficult at national team level.
“Of course we have the big stars, but we have not done much. It is always part of football and you have to accept that. We have to try and change that by winning every game,” he said. The Chronicle