Nigeria Draws with Equatorial Guinea, Late Salah Penalty Rescues Egypt and Cape Verde Stuns Ghana in AFCON Openers

Africa Cup of Nations Kicks Off with Thrilling Matches and Surprising Results

In a dramatic start to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Mohamed Salah’s late penalty saved Egypt from an embarrassing opening match defeat against Mozambique, ending the game in a 2-2 draw on Sunday.

Salah, who had earlier assisted Mostafa Mohamed for Egypt’s opening goal, remained composed as he converted a penalty in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time, denying Mozambique their first-ever tournament win in 13 attempts.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Victor Osimhen’s goal was not enough to secure a victory for Nigeria as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea. Despite dominating the match, Nigeria faced a resilient Equatorial Guinea side, with goalkeeper Jesús Owono making crucial saves to frustrate the Super Eagles. The result leaves Nigeria under pressure going into their next game against host nation Ivory Coast.

In another surprising turn of events, Cape Verde pulled off a late 2-1 victory over four-time champion Ghana in their Group B opener. Garry Rodrigues, a substitute for Cape Verde, scored in stoppage time to secure the win. Despite Ghana’s efforts, Cape Verde’s defense, led by Roberto “Pico” Lopes and Logan Costa, held firm against the speedy Ghanaian forward line.

The small Atlantic island nation maintained its record of never losing its opening AFCON game in four tournament appearances. Ghana, missing injured star Mohammed Kudus, faced VAR controversy when Majeed Ashimeru’s goal was ruled out for offside. Ghana finally equalized when Alexander Djiku headed in Jordan Ayew’s corner, but Cape Verde had the last word with Rodrigues’ late winner.

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The AFCON tournament promises more excitement and unpredictable outcomes as teams vie for continental glory. With standout performances and unexpected twists, fans can expect a thrilling competition ahead.

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