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AFCON 2023 Match Day 3 Review: Salah's late penalty rescues Egypt, Cape Verde stuns Ghana, Osimhen's goal not enough for Nigeria

Posted : 15 January 2024

The Africa Cup of Nations kicked off with intense drama as Mohamed Salah's late penalty saved Egypt from defeat against Mozambique, Cape Verde shocked Ghana with a last-minute goal, and Victor Osimhen's efforts couldn't secure a win for Nigeria against Equatorial Guinea. Concerns also emerged over the low attendance at the matches, impacting the overall tournament experience.


Salah's Late Penalty Rescues Egypt

Salah rescues Egypt as Nigeria draw and Ghana lose at Cup of Nations


In a dramatic opening match at the Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt narrowly avoided a surprising defeat against Mozambique. Mohamed Salah's penalty in the seventh minute of injury time secured a 2-2 draw for Egypt. Despite Salah's early goal, Mozambique turned the game around with Witiness Quembo's header and Clesio Bauque's strike. The result denied Mozambique a historic first-ever Afcon win and raised concerns about Egypt's performance in the tournament.


Cape Verde Stuns Ghana

Cape Verde stun Ghana in AFCON opener | KickOff


Ghana suffered a shock defeat to Cape Verde in their opening match of the Africa Cup of Nations. Despite Alexander Djiku's equalizer in the second half, Cape Verde secured a 2-1 victory with Garry Rodrigues' goal in the 92nd minute. The loss puts Ghana in a challenging position early in the tournament. The defeat comes as a disappointment for a team with a history of Afcon victories and emphasizes the competitiveness of the tournament.


Osimhen's Goal Not Enough for Nigeria

Osimhen scores as Nigeria held by Equatorial Guinea


Victor Osimhen's goal was not sufficient for Nigeria as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Equatorial Guinea. Osimhen's header leveled the score after Iban Edu opened the scoring for Equatorial Guinea. The match ended with both teams earning one point in Group A. Nigeria's coach, Jose Peseiro, expressed dissatisfaction with the result, highlighting the missed opportunities. The draw adds complexity to Nigeria's Afcon campaign, and they will seek better results in their upcoming matches.


Concerns Over Empty Stadiums


Despite the exciting matches, concerns arose over the low attendance at the tournament's matches. The Nigeria vs. Equatorial Guinea game witnessed a practically empty stadium, raising worries for organizers. The lack of fan presence in the 60,000-capacity stadium is a point of consideration for the success of the tournament. The organizers may need to address this issue to enhance the overall experience of the Africa Cup of Nations.


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