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The Big 5 – Preview

The top 5 Africa-related sports stories for the weekend, April 26-28, 2019

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1.    2019 All Africa Senior Badminton Championships ends on Sunday

The All Africa Senior Championship holding at the Alfred Ditte Spiff Civic Centre – Port Harcourt, Rivers state Nigeria will come to an end on Sunday with the individual events. A record of 15 African countries are participating in the competition, 14 participating in the mixed team events, and 15 in the individual events.

2.    Qualifiers for World Beach Volleyball Championships to emerge in Abuja

The 2019 Senior African Nations Beach Volleyball tournament for women and men hosted at Jabi Lake Park, Abuja Nigeria will end on Sunday. 22 African countries are participating which serves an African qualifier for the World Beach Volleyball Championship.

3. Ghana’s Richard Lartey to face Daniel Dubois at Wembley

Ghanaian heavyweight Richard Lartey will face English heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois this weekend at The SSE Arena in Wembley. Lartey is 14-1 (11 KOs) and is unbeaten since losing his seventh fight against Ergun Mersin in 2014.

This is Lartey’s first fight out of his homeland. 21 year old Dubois knocked out Razvan Cojanu in two rounds on March 8 at the Royal Albert Hall and is now 10-0 (9 KOs).

4. Guniea face Cameroon in U-20 AFCON final

The final of the CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations takes place this weekend at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. Guinea, who will contest their first ever final face Cameroon on Sunday. Nigeria and Angola will contest the third place match on Saturday at the same venue.

5.  CAF club competitions enter semi-final stage

The first legs of the semifinals of the CAF Champions League take place this weekend. On Friday evening, Wydad Athletic Club of Casablanca host Mamelodi Sundowns in Rabat. On Saturday, Tunisian giants Esperance battle TP Mazembe in Rades. Both semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup will hold on Sunday. CS Sfaxien face RSB Berkane in Sfax while Egyptian heavyweights Zamalek lock horns with former champions Etoile du Sahel.

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2019 AFCON: Opening wins for Cote d’Ivoire and Mali

It was Cote d’Ivoire’s first ever win over South Africa in seven meetings

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2019 AFCON: Opening wins for Cote d'Ivoire and Mali
Ivory coast's Jonathan Kodjia celebrates scoring his side's first goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between South Africa and Ivory coast at Al-Salam Stadium. AFP

Jonathan Kodjia scored the only goal as Cote d’Ivoire recorded a 1-0 win over South Africa. Kodjia made up for failing to convert a first half chance after he got on the end of an excellent Max Gradel cross in the 64th minute, slipping it under Bafana Bafana keeper Rowen Williams.

It was Cote d’Ivoire’s first ever win over South Africa in seven meetings.

In another Group D match, Tunisia were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw by Angola. The Carthage Eagles had gone ahead after Youssef Msakni converted a 34th minute penalty. Djalma tapped home the equalizer in the 73rd minute after Tunisian keeper, Ben Mustapha parried a shot into his path.

In Group E, the Eagles of Mali scored four excellent goals as they ripped debutants, Mauritania apart 4-1. Mauritania started brightly but their challenge faded after Abdoulay Diaby cracked home a 25-yard thunderbolt.

A Moussa Marega penalty and an excellent solo effort by Adama Traore increased the tally as Mali threatened to run riot. The debutants pulled one back from the penalty spot through Moctar Sidi El Hacen before Adama Traore, no relation to the previous goalscorer, curled home a delightful fourth to seal the win.

In today’s matches, The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon begin their title defence when they take on The Wild Dogs of Guinea-Bissau, while The Black Stars of Ghana face the Squirrels of Benin.

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Riyad Mahrez stars as Algeria ease past Kenya

Goals from Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez gave the Algerians their first three points of the tournament

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Riyad Mahrez stars as Algeria ease past Kenya
Kenya's midfielder Dennis Odhiambo (R) fights for the ball with Algeria's forward Riyad Mahrez during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Algeria and Kenya at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on June 23, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

The Fennecs of Algeria started their AFCON 2019 campaign on a winning note as they beat the Harambee Stars of Kenya 2-0 on Sunday.

Goals from Baghdad Bounedjah and Riyad Mahrez gave the Algerians their first three points of the tournament.

The Algerians started the game the brighter and came close twice with Baghdad and Belaili getting chances to punish the Kenyans. The Kenyan goalkeeper Matasi made a great save in the 24th minute when he stopped Belali’s shot after the Kenyan defence was caught napping.

At about half an hour, Algeria’s Youcef Atal was brought down by Kenya’s Dennis Odhiambo and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty, which was converted by Baghdad for Algeria’s first goal.

In the 43rd minute, Ismael Bennacer ran to the byline and cut the ball back to Mahrez who was free in the box and his first-time shot took a deflection off Omar before hitting the back of the net.

The victory for Algeria means they and Senegal (who beat Tanzania 2-0 earlier in the day) are top of Group C with 3 points and 2 goals each.

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East Africa News & Stories

AFCON 2019: Teranga Lions dominate Tanzania in Group C opener

Senegal will next face Algeria on Thursday

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AFCON 2019: Teranga Lions dominate Tanzania in Group C opener

The Teranga Lions of Senegal started their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Taifa Stars of Tanzania in a Group C encounter. Playing without captain Sadio Mane who was serving a one match suspension, the West Africans were never troubled by their opponents.

Striker M’Baye Niang twice came close to opening the scoring in the first six minutes before the Lions inevitably took the lead after 28 minutes. Keita Balde Diao lashed home a left-footed strike that goalkeeper, Aishi Manula couldn’t hold.

Rennes forward, Ismaila Sarr had a goal disallowed midway through the first half after Cheikhou Kouyate was penalised for handball in the build-up.

Manula was called upon many times to prevent the scoreline from widening but Alio Cisse’s team eventually had their dominance rewarded in the 64th minute in truly spectacular fashion.

Tanzania failed to clear a corner properly and Krepin Diatta hammered home a thunderbolt from the edge of the box to seal the win. Senegal will next face Algeria on Thursday.

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