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Senegal were held 0-0 by minnows Malawi in Bafoussam on Tuesday despite the return of stars Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly and Idrissa Gueye, but still won Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Brave Malawi finished third and must wait until Thursday to see if they will be among the best four third-placed teams and qualify for the second round.
Senegal came to the Cup of Nations as one of the favourites but have won only once and scored only once -- from a Sadio Mane penalty -- in three matches.
Malawi believed they should have been awarded a penalty in the second half when Gomezgani Chirwa had his shirt pulled by Bouna Sarr, but the referee disagreed after looking at the VAR monitor.
Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy and Napoli defender Koulibaly missed the first two matches and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Gueye the second due to positive coronavirus tests.