The Confederation of African Football have announced the schedule for the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
The governing body in a statement said the draws for the competition will be held at the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt on the 12th of April.
The tournament proper will commence on the 21st of June and end on the 13th of July.
Egypt will stage the competition after original host Cameroon was stripped of its duties due to delays in its preparations for the expanded 24-team tournament.
The opening match, which will feature the Pharaohs, is scheduled to take place at the 74,100-seat Cairo Stadium.
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
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.
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
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.
AFCON 2019: Teranga Lions dominate Tanzania in Group C opener
Senegal will next face Algeria on Thursday
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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