Pre-tournament favourites Senegal failed to impress again at the Africa Cup of Nations, but a 0-0 draw with Guinea in Bafoussam on Friday all-but ensured their progress to the knockout stages.

In what was a quiet first half, Guinea created the only real chance when goalkeeper Seny Dieng was forced into action, keeping out a low strike from Morgan Guilavogui.

Senegal were heavily impacted by Covid-19 infections with boss Aliou Cisse without four first-choice players in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, captain Kalidou Koilibaly, defender Fode Ballo-Toure and midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye.

They eventually grew into the Group B clash after the break with Abdou Diallo seeing his header tipped over the crossbar and Bouna Sarr dragging an effort wide of the target as the two sides could not be separated.

The result means the two west African rivals share top spot in Group B with four points after winning their respective opening games on Monday.

With the top two in each group, plus the four best third-placed finishers to advance, four points is expected to be enough for a place in the last 16, but Senegal have done little to live up to their tag as the team to beat at the tournament as they feel the impact of 10 absentees.

Malawi and Zimbabwe, who both lost on Monday, play the second Group B game in Bafoussam later on Friday.