Mostbet: The only goal of the game came from left-back Issaïga Silla 10 minutes before halftime, after good play by striker Jose Kanté.
But the West Africans were grateful for goalkeeper Ali Keita’s series of saves against Senegal in their first Group B match at Bafoussam on Tuesday.
He parried three shots in the first half before diving boldly under the feet of Yamikani Chester.
With Liverpool midfielder Nabi Keita leading Group B Guinea after beating Zimbabwe earlier Monday.
Malawi can’t find a way to beat Keita
Malawi, competing in its first Nations Cup since 2010 and losing the first match to Ghana, was strong in the game and had a good chance to go one-on-one against Sierra Leone, but striker Chester parried his shot straight at Keita.
After Guinean defender Ibrahim Sori Conter was forced to header under the crossbar, Silla scored.
Keita’s goalkeeper had no choice but to watch as Mitsium Mkone tried to score from 30 yards out, Limbicani Mbazza from 35 yards out, and Peter Banda from long range. Then he had to watch Ernest Kahobwe make two saves to keep Malawi from scoring.
After Chester failed to convert a penalty just before halftime, Flames midfielder Huda Muyaab sent another good chance right at Keita.
Both teams were without players due to a positive Covid-19 test, but Malawi was only able to field four substitutes and called up several substitutes to bolster their team.
Teams must play if they have at least 11 healthy players, even though they may not have a goalie.
Guinea and Malawi will play each other on Friday. Senegal will play Zimbabwe.