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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 January 2006, 17:44 GMT
Zimbabwe 0-2 Senegal
Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport, Port Said

Camara is challenged by Zimbabwe's Essom Nyandoro (right)

Senegal went into their African Nations Cup match against Zimbabwe on Monday harbouring dreams of a goal-feast but found themselves struggling to overcome the weakest team in Group D.

The Teranga Lions impressed no one at the El Masry stadium in Port Said but escaped with a 2-0 victory that almost certainly drew shouts of "hallelujah" in the Nigeria and Ghana camps.

Goals from Henri Camara and substitute Issa Ba spared Senegal the kind of humiliation they so famously inflicted on France at the 2002 World Cup finals.

Given the huge difference in class between the two teams, the smart money was always going to be on Senegal, and Zimbabwe's response was to park the proverbial bus in front of their goal.

The backs-to-the-wall strategy served the Warriors well in the first half, as they choked the life out of many Senegalese raids.

When Senegal finally put the ball in the back of Gift Muzadzi's net five minutes before the break, Sudanese referee Khalid Rahman disallowed Camara's effort for offside.

El Hadji Diouf had earlier hit the post with Muzadzi a stranded spectator, while Rahmane Barry somehow contrived to miss an open goal when it seemed easier to score.

Camara eventually settled Senegal's nerves after 59 minutes when he ran on to a glorious through ball from Barry, taking it round the goalkeeper before slotting it home.

Ten minutes later, Benjani Mwaruwari found himself face-to-face with Senegal goalkeeper Tony Sylva, but produced an early contender for miss-of-the-tournament when he scooped the ball over the bar from five yards.

Camara, by far the most effective Senegalese player on view, created the second goal scored by substitute Issa Ba with 10 minutes remaining.

The speedy striker danced his way past a couple of bemused Zimbabweans before squaring the ball to Ba who made no mistake from close range.

But the Lions of Teranga know that they will have to apply themselves far more seriously in their next matches against Ghana's Black Stars and Nigeria's Super Eagles.

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