2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON2019) pre-tournament favourites on Sunday secured opening wins in their respective groups although they came in different fashions.
While Senegal spanked Nations Cup returnees Tanzania 2-0, the Moroccans rather fortuitously claimed a late win over less-fancied Namibia courtesy of an own goal.
There were seven goals in the three games played on Sunday and we bring the wrap.
Senegal 2-0 Tanzania
Midfielder Krepin Diatta’s screamer added on to Keita Balde’s first half opener was enough as Senegal’s Teranga Lions began their hunt for a maiden Africa Cup of Nations title with a 2-0 win over Tanzania’s Taifa Stars at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo on Sunday night.
Senegal dominated the game from gun to tape and should have won by a bigger margin, but will leave satisfied with three precious points especially in the absence of their star striker Sadio Mane who was suspended for the opening tie.
Algeria 2-0 Kenya
In Sunday’s late night game, two first half goals propelled the Fennec Foxes of Algeria to a 2-0 win over Kenya at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo and sent them joint top of Group C with Senegal.
Baghdad Bounedjah converted from the penalty spot in the 34th minute to give the North Africans the lead before Manchester City star Riyadh Mahrez rounded off a good team move in the 43rd minute to give his side a healthy half time lead.
The Algerians can now go into their next group game against Senegal with something already in the bank while Kenya and Tanzania will slug it out in the East African derby.
Morocco 1-0 Namibia
In Group D’s first game, Namibia striker Itamunua Keimune scored on the wrong end of the pitch as the Southern Africans lost 1-0 to Morocco in their Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Egypt 2019 group opener at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.
The Brave Warriors looked well on course to collect a valuable point against one of the tournament’s favourites, but Keimune headed the ball into his own net with only two minutes left on the clock as he tried to defend a Hakim Ziyech free-kick.
Namibia coach Ricardo Manetti must be proud of his side’s dogged display against one of the tournament’s favourites and will hope they bounce back when they face South Africa in their second group game. The Bafana Bafana will face Coted’voire in their tournament opener on Monday afternoon at the same stadium.
Monday’s fixtures (All Nigerian times)
3:30pm: Coted’voire vs South Africa (Group D)
6:00pm: Tunisia vs Angola (Group E)
9:00pm: Mali vs Mauritania (Group E)