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Senegal and Algeria ahead after wins over Tanzania and Kenya | Coastweek

CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) -- Youcef Atal [left] of Algeria vies with Abud Omar Sfantu of Kenya during the 2019 African Cup of Nations Group C match between Algeria and Kenya in Cairo, Egypt, on June 23, 2019. Michael Olunga [right] of Kenya vies with Youcef Atal of Algeria during the 2019 African Cup of Nations Group C match. Algeria won 2-0. XINHUA PHOTOS - LI YAN

Senegal and Algeria lead Group C Africa Cup of
Nations after 2-0 wins over Tanzania and Kenya

CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) -- 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, while Algeria’s Les Fennecs beat Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-0 at the June 30 Stadium here on Sunday.

The victory took Algeria to joint top place with Senegal who mirrored the same result against Tanzania in the early kick-off at the same venue.

Senegal dominated the game from gun to tape and should have won by a bigger margin, but left satisfied with three precious points especially in the absence of their star striker Sadio Mane who was suspended for the opening tie.

Keita Balde opened the scoring after 27 minutes, striking a low shot from the right that evaded Tanzania keeper Aishi Manula’s grasp.

Senegal were rewarded with a goal after dictating much of the play and should have gone to the break at least three goals up.

Senegal were forced into a change after 20 minutes, Salif Sane coming off with an ankle injury after landing awkwardly. His place was taken by Cheikou Kouyate.

The Teranga Lions continued their dominance even after scoring and should have been two up after 31 minutes. Balde played the ball to Ismaila Sarr on the right who teed up Idrissa Gana Gueye, but the latter’s shot from close range was over.

Two minutes later, Sarr had a goal disallowed after Kouyate was adjudged to have handled the ball as he raced to a rebound off keeper Manula. Papa Ndiaye tried his luck with an acrobatic kick of a Balde freekick in the 41st minute, but it flew just over.

Senegal dominated more in the second half and made it 2-0 when Diatta struck a screamer from 35 yards out after a clearance off a corner fell kindly for him.

Niang should have added another goal minutes later but missed a sitter unmarked inside the box off a Sarr cross.

At the same stadium, a Baghdad Bounedjah penalty and Riyad Mahrez’s deflected strike handed Algeria victory courtesy of a well choreographed first half performance.

Kenya came back a better side in the second half, but didn’t have enough in their vaults to fight for victory.

Algeria was the better side the entire first half forcing Kenya to play in their own half and were limited to only two efforts at goal, both going wide.

Bounedjah had shown his potent as early as the second minute of the game when he raced onto a long pass inside the box but his shot on the volley went over.

In the 13th minute, Bounedjah was axed at the edge of the box by Abud Omar.

Mahrez stepped over the resultant freekick and his effort went inches wide.

Algeria came close in the 24th minute when Kenya keeper Patrick Matasi spilled Youcef Bellaili’s shot after he was played through by Sofiane Feghouli.

Four minutes later, Mahrez had another effort with a free kick from range that went agonizingly wide with keeper Matasi found flat footed.

The Algerians were finally rewarded for their pressure after 32 minutes off the penalty spot after Dennis Odhiambo axed Youcef Atal inside the box.

Bounedjah stepped forward and made no mistake from 12 yards out.

Kenya’s chances at goal came late in the first half with Ayub Timbe and Eric Johannah trying shots from the right, both going wide.

In the second half, Kenya was better and limited Algeria from playing the ball.

The change to bring out Francis Kahata for Erick Ouma proved decisive for Sebastien Migne’s boys, but scoring was a problem.

The Harambee Stars next play Tanzania in the East Africa derby next Thursday while Algeria face Senegal.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Uganda beat Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in AFCON 2019 Group A

CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) -- Uganda beat Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in their Group A opener of Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.

The Ugandans were clearly the better side in the opening half, dominating against the Congolese who seemed to have slowed down on their usual flair and fast paced game.

Patrick Kaddu, whose goal ensured Uganda earned a place at the AFCON 2019, scored the opener, sneaking in at the near post to glance home a well curled corner from Faruku Miya 14 minutes into the game.

Uganda won the set piece after Marcel Tisserand had deflected an Abdul Lumala cross from the right taking it away from Kaddu who was lurking at the edge of the six yard box.

Kaddu also had two other brilliant chances at goal to extend Uganda’s lead.

DR Congo were limited in their scoring chances and on the half hour mark they had a half chance when a corner was floated to Yannick Bolasie’s direction, but he could not get a clean header on target.

Uganda then doubled their score three minutes into the second half as another catastrophic piece of defending by the Leopards off a Miya freekick seeing Okwi rise from just outside the six yard box and plant his header beyond goalkeeper Ley Matampi Matampi.

Eight minutes later, Matampi redeemed himself with a brilliant save leaping to his right to tip over Miya’s ferocious freekick from range behind for a corner.

DR Congo coach Florent Ibenge made changes, Jose Mpoku coming off for Jonathan Bolingi while Chancel Mbemba was hauled off for Jacques Maghoma, a move aimed at stabilizing a midfield that was dominated by the Ugandans.

Uganda will next face Zimbabwe next Wednesday while DR Congo face a hilly task against hosts Egypt who won their opening match 1-0 against Zimbabwe on Friday night.

The AFCON kicked off Friday and will go through July 19 where 24 African teams will fight for the most prestigious football title in Africa.
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Host Egypt start off AFCON campaign with 1-0 win over Zimbabwe

CAIRO Egypt (Xinhua) -- Hosts Egypt started their Africa Cup of Nations 2019 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe at a fully packed Cairo International Stadium on Friday night.

Pharaohs’ striker Mahmoud Hassan ‘Trezeguet’ netted beautiful goal in the 41st minute to secure three points for the hosts, putting them on top of the Group A.

On Saturday, DR Congo will face Uganda in the other Group A clash at the same venue.

The AFCON kicked off Friday and will go through July 19 where 24 African teams will fight for the most prestigious football title in Africa.

Before Egypt-Zimbabwe match, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi who was at the Stadium, gave green light for the championship, welcoming the African football teams and fans.

Roared on by some 75,000 fans at the stadium, the Pharaohs could have won by a bigger margin if they had used all the chances that came their way.

However, they got the three points as they started off their journey for a record-stretching eighth African crown.

Trezeguet, who plays for Kasimpasa in Turkey, gave the hosts a much deserved lead four minutes to the break with a peach of a goal.

The winger broke down on the left before playing a quick one-two with Ayman Ashraf and unleashing a curling shot that beat the Zimbabwe keeper Edmore Sibanda.

Sibanda, who unfortunately had to come off injured with 13 minutes to play had been kept busy all through the opening exchanges and had been forced to make two good saves within the opening two minutes.

Zimbabwe had been put on the back foot by the fast paced Egyptians and they had to wait till the 36th minute for their first effort on target.

A quick free-kick was played through to Khama Billiat who came one on one with Mohammed El Shenawy, but the keeper spread his body well on the floor to block the effort for a corner.

In the second half, Egypt kept the same momentum and just four minutes in, Trezeguet forced a brilliant save off Sibanda when he found some shooting space at the edge of the box to curl in a shot that the keeper smothered behind for a corner.

In the 66th minute, Sibanda came to Zimbabwe’s rescue again this time blocking an effort from Liverpool’s striker Mohammed Salah who had been put through with a defense splitting pass by Trezeguet.

Sibanda’s evening had to end in a tragic way as he was replaced by Elvis Chipezeze with 13 minutes left, an injury he picked up after a clash with Marwan Mohsen in the first half forcing him out.

Chipezeze also had some work to do in the few minutes he came in and with four minutes left went down well to save a Salah effort on his weaker right foot.

In January, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced that Egypt will host Africa’s largest continental football tournament for the fifth time in its history.

The tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon.

However, Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the tournament for serious delay in preparations.

Egypt has won the right to host the tournament over its sole rival South Africa, as it obtained 16 out of 18 votes in favor.

The North African country hosted four AFCON tournaments in 1957, 1974, 1986 and 2006 respectively and has won the title for seven times.

The AFCON matches will take place at stadiums in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, and Suez Canal governorates.

"We want our eighth title.

"We will fight for it," Heba Adel, a 21-year-old college student from Cairo, told Xinhua after the match.

The young lady said the fans will definitely support their team in all matches, noting that such support gives confidence to the players on the pitch.

Two hospitals in every governorate were allocated for receiving possible injured or ill fans as 30 percent of the hospital beds were allocated for emergency cases.

             

 

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