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Guinea v Malawi Match Report, 10/01/2022

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I. Sylla (35)
Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam
Guinea 1-0 Malawi: Issiaga strike enough to hand National Elephants maximum points
21:20 GMT+3 10/01/2022
Issiaga Sylla celebrates goal in Guinea vs Malawi match at 2021 Afcon
The first half strike was all the West Africans needed to go joint top of the pool alongside Senegal who defeated Zimbabwe

Sylla Issiaga was on target to help Guinea defeat Malawi 1-0 in a Group B Africa Cup of Nations match played at Omnisports Stadium on Monday.

The Flames started the match the brighter side and threatened as early as the second minute but Peter Banda failed to pick a teammate in the 18-yard area. Three minutes later, the 21-year-old once again beat his marker to get into a promising position but his touch on the final pass was heavy and the ball went out.

Those missed chances were warning signs for the Guineans who reacted promptly by increasing their tempo and retaining possession to try and deny their opponents an opportunity to create more scoring chances.

Malawi were rewarded a free kick in a good area when Issiaga illegally dispossessed their opponent. Francisco Madinga took the set-piece but goalkeeper Aly Keita managed to stop the ball from hitting the back of the net.

The best, for either side, in the early exchanges came in the 17th minute when Chester Yamikani danced past the defenders and got in on a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper but failed to hit the target.

The National Elephants were struggling to match the Flames, as the latter tried to create a chance whenever they went forward.

In the 24th minute, the West Africans eventually came closest. They won a corner that was taken by Aguibou Camara. Ibrahima Conte rose highest, beat the defenders and the keeper but the ball bounced off the woodwork and the danger was eventually cleared.

Guinea finally broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when Jose Kante passed the ball to Issiaga and the latter held his cool to hit the back of the net.

Two minutes to the break, Peter Banda received a promising pass in the 18-yard area before trying to find the top-right corner, but the goalkeeper pulled a brilliant save to ensure his team went into the break with a slim lead.

Jose Kante thought he had won a penalty when he went down in the area after a slight touch, but the referee was not interested.

The National Elephants custodian Keita was once again called to action in the 51st minute to deny Khuda Muyaba who had been left unmarked in the final third. Eight minutes later, his teammate Yamikani missed a golden opportunity as he put the ball too close to the goalkeeper from about six yards out.

Mohamed Bayo and Francisco Madinga had massive chances to score for Guinea and Malawi respectively, but neither took them and the former managed to pick up the vital points.

They will now play Senegal in their next game as Malawi take on Zimbabwe. The Teranga Lions won their match against the Warriors by a solitary goal.