Naby Keita was the last-minute match-winner as the 27-year-old played his final game of the campaign, clinching a 1-0 victory for Guinea over Malawi.
After a 1-0 defeat to Mohamed Salah‘s Egypt last week, Guinea looked to claw back an advantage in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying group as they hosted Malawi.
Keita made his 49th and final appearance of the season in the middle of the park, accompanied by Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara, with a dominant performance playing out.
But as the minutes ticked by, Guinea were still struggling to find the back of the net – that is, until Keita’s timely intervention in the 91st minute.
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Guinea snatch a hard-fought win, thanks to Naby Keita’s goal in the final moments of the game ?#TotalEnergiesAFCONQ2023 | @fgfofficiel | @FAMalawi pic.twitter.com/11CCsCczre
— CAF (@CAF_Online) June 9, 2022
Picking up the ball near the centre circle, the Guinea captain played a one-two with Serhou Guirassy, before dancing between challenges and laying it off for Bafode Dansoko, charging onto the rebound and through to finish while on the slide.
The stadium in Conakry erupted, with Keita sealing the three points to stay level in Group D, all four nations so far having won one and lost one.
It was a triumphant moment for Liverpool’s No. 8, who can now depart on a well-deserved holiday before the return to pre-season training at the start of July.
Elsewhere on Thursday, Kostas Tsimikas played the full 90 minutes as Greece saw off Cyprus with a 3-0 win in the UEFA Nations League, and Diogo Jota played 80 minutes in Portugal’s 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic.
Conor Bradley came off the bench in Northern Ireland’s miserable 3-2 loss to Kosovo, while Mohamed Salah missed Egypt’s 2-0 defeat to Ethiopia through injury.
Friday evening sees the England under-21s visit Kosovo, with Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones both hoping to feature, and Ibrahima Konate could make his France debut as they head to Austria.