Defending African Champions Cameroon had to dig deep into their reserves to begin their AFCON title defense with 2-0 victory against Guinea-Bissau. It took 66 minutes of play for them to break the deadlock through a headed effort from defender Yaya Banana. Ghana were held by the Squirrels of Benin in their Group F opening match in Ismailia.
AFCON debutants Mauritania were given a baptism of fire as they were beaten convincingly by West African neighbors Mali 4-1 in their Group E. Meanwhile, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire began their campaign with a lone goal victory over Bafana Bafana, and Angola snatched a late equalizer to earn a 1-1 draw with the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia.
Algeria’s Les Fennecs started their African Cup of Nations campaign with a 2-0 win over the Harambee Stars of Kenya at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo. Meanwhile, the Teranga Lions beat the Taifa Stars of Tanzania by two goals to nil, while Keimune’s own goal earned the Atlas Lions of Morocco a slim win over the Brave Warriors of Namibia.