Egypt, Senegal, And Nigeria Opened Afcon With Wins
The first Africa Cup of Nations final round to take place in the middle of a calendar year, begun Friday with host Egypt laboring to win Zimbabwe in the opening fixture at the Cairo International Stadium.
Mahmoud Trezeguet scored just before half time to give Egypt a 1-0 win.
Zimbabwe who had been poor travelers in the qualifying rounds had some fine moments in the encounter, but could not break a resilience Egypt defense.
Though it was an important win for the host, it was unconvincing for many who were cheering the Pharaohs.
Senegal who are the highest ranked African side in the Fifa ranking and have not won the Nations cup before opened their campaign on a promising note, winning Tanzania 2-0 in Cairo.
Inter Milan forward Keita Balde’s low finish after 28 minutes gave the Senegalese the lead before Krepin Diatta blasted in a second from the edge of the box with 64 minutes gone as the Teranga Lions dominated.
Nigeria, who are Three-time winners defeated tournament debutants Burundi 1-0 to mark their campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations with joy.
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo scored four minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Burundi – the lowest-ranked side at the tournament had chances in that game, but will hope that their next fixture brings them luck.
Nigeria was without striker Samuel Kalu, who had been taken to hospital after suffering from “severe dehydration” in training on Friday – a day after players’ union Fifpro had called for the tournament organizers to increase their planned number of heat breaks from two to four per match.
Uganda Cranes overtook Egypt at the top of Group A with a 2-0 victory over D.R.Congo.
That win was Uganda’s first win at the Africa Cup of Nations final round in 41 years.
Uganda lost all three group matches in 2017, in what was their first Africa Cup of Nations appearance since finishing runners-up in 1978.
The Nations Cup tournament is continuing this week in Egypt with more exciting fixtures.