AFCON 2021 DAY 1: Highlights
Football Review

AFCON 2021 DAY 1: Highlights

AFCON 2021 MATCH DAY- Highlights

The African cup of nations-AFCON kicked off on the 9th of January 2021 at the Olembe stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon with Cameroon vs. Burkina Faso. Since then there have been 12 matches played to round off match day 1 of the African tournament.

Below are the results of the matches;

GROUP A {Highlights}

■Cameroon vs. Burkina Faso

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlights Burkina faso

Cameroon faced off against Burkina Faso for their first match of the AFCON with the Olembe stadium filled to the brim. Both teams had lots of chances in the game although Burkina Faso would open the scoring when Gustavo Sangare finished sublimely after a cross from Bertrand Traore in the 24th minute.

The lead only lasted 16 minutes as Vincent Aboubakar would step up and score a penalty after Andre Anguissa was awarded a penalty by VAR (Video Assistant Referee) in the 40th minute.

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Three minutes later, Cameroon were awarded another penalty which captain Vincent Aboubakar had no problem putting in the back of the net, the score 2-1 at halftime.

They were no goals in the second half. Cameroon start their AFCON campaign on home soil with a win.

Ethiopia vs. Cape Verde

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlights Cape verde

Cape Verde went into their Group A encounter missing their manager and nine other players due to covid-19.

In the 12th minute, VAR would upgrade Ethiopia’s Yared Baye’s yellow to a red card after a foul on Julio Traveres who would go on to score the winner in the injury time of the first half.

Cape Verde manage a win against 10 man Ethiopia despite being covid hit.

Group B {Highlights}

Senegal vs. Zimbabwe

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlights Senegal day 1

Senegal, runner-ups in the previous AFCON and tournament favourites began their campaign against Zimbabwe. All through the match, Senegal had more possession of the ball but both teams had lots of chances to score.

It looked like Zimbabwe were going to pull off an upset and hold Senegal to a draw, but in injury time a penalty was awarded to Senegal after the ball was handled in the area. Sadio Mane stepped up to finish coolly and award Senegal all 3 points.


■Guinea vs. Malawi

Afcon 2021 match highlight

Naby Keita’s guinea vs. Malawi was the other match in group B. Issiaga Sylla’s 35th minute goal proved to be the difference for guinea has they beat Malawi 1-0 to secure all 3 points and join Senegal at the top of group B.

Group C {Highlights}

Morocco vs. Ghana
One of the most anticipated matches of match day 1, these matchup between two of Africa’s heavyweights could easily have been a 3rd place match up or the final itself.

Morocco had the most possession and created lots of chances while Ghana struggled to get in the game although managed to keep the score line at 0-0 until the 83rd minute when Sofianne Boufal popped in the Ghanaian box 18 to score what would be the winner for Morocco.

Ghana have their work cut out for them in match day 2.

Comoros vs. Gabon
This was Comoros first AFCON appearance in their history and they were determined to make it a memorable one. Gabon were without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and a few others as a result of testing positive for covid 19 but that didn’t stop them from defeating an inexperienced Comoros side 1 nil.

Gabon took all 3 points, a huge win for them in their quest to qualify for the knockout stages.

Group D {Highlights}

Nigeria vs. Egypt

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlight

Another blockbuster match that featured some of the English Premier League’s biggest stars; Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and arguably the best player in the world Mohammed Salah.

This was Nigeria and Egypt’s first meeting in the AFCON since the Pharaohs beat the Super Eagles 3-1 at the 2010 group stages. The outcome of this match would however be far different. Nigeria controlled the game and created lots of chances and finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute when Joe Aribo headed down to Kelechi ‘senior man kelz’

Read: Being Nigerian- Here’s what it means to be Nigerian

Iheanacho who controlled the ball beautifully and delivered a sumptuous finish to give Nigeria the lead. Nigeria would have many chances to increase the lead but failed to take their chances.

Egypt on the other hand struggled to create anything against a rejuvenated Nigeria side with Mohammed Salah limited to only one shot on target.

Nigeria would eventually win the game 1-0, a massive boost for a team that looked down on confidence. Egypt are bottom of the group and have their work cut out for them

Sudan vs. guinea Bissau

Afcon 2021 day 1 sudan

Sudan headed into this AFCON with a new manager after relieving the old one of his duties due to a poor run of matches. The game was mostly balanced with both sides creating few chances.

In the 82nd minute a penalty was awarded to Sudan by VAR. Pele stepped up to take it but his effort was well wide. The match would end in a stalemate.

Group E

Algeria vs. Sierra Leone

Afcon 2021 day 1 Algeria Sierra leone

The defending champions began their quest for a third AFCON against Sierra Leone. The match would end in goalless draw. A huge result for Sierra Leone in a tough group.

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Algeria would create lots of chances and attempted numerous shots on goal but just couldn’t hit the target with Yacine Brahimi and Said Benrahma both missing clear cut chances.

Credit also goes to Sierra Leone who put in one of the best defensive performances at the AFCON so far. With goal keeper Mohamed Kamara emerging the man of the match.

Equatorial Guinea vs. Ivory Coast

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlights ivory Coast

Ivory Coast captain, Max Gradel scored with a spectacular finish from outside the box just 5 minutes in to the game. Equatorial Guinea appealed for a foul in the build up to the goal but the goal stood. Equatorial Guinea had chances of their own but couldn’t find the target.

Substitutes for Ivory Coast, Nicolas Pepe had his shot saved by the goal keeper and Wilfred Zaha fired wide. Ivory Coast would win 1-0 and go top of the group after Algeria’s draw.

Group F

Tunisia vs. Mali

Afcon 2021 day highlights Mali

The first half ended in a stalemate. In the 48th minute, Ibrahima Kone scored a penalty which was awarded after the ball struck the back of the arm of Ellyes Skhiri.

In the 77th minute Tunisia would have a penalty of their own but Wahbi Kaziri’s shot was well saved by the Malian goalkeeper.

The biggest drama, however, would happen late in the half when Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, despite two VAR checks and a water break ended the game with five minutes still left on the clock, he checked his timings and restarted the match but then stopped the game again 13 seconds to the 90th minute mark without adding any stoppage time.

Sikazwe and his assistants had to be escorted off the pitch by security personnel but it didn’t end there. 20 minutes later CAF officials ordered both teams back on the pitch to finish the game after all the press interviews had been done and Tunisian players had reportedly gotten in the ice bath.

The Malian players got back on the pitch but the Tunisian players refused to get back on the pitch. Mali were awarded the 1-0 victory. The Tunisian F.A is said to have appealed the match.

Mauritania vs. Gambia

Afcon 2021 day 1 highlights Gambia

Gambia were the lowest ranked team going into the AFCON finals. It was also their first ever AFCON. They couldn’t have asked for a better start when in the 10th minute Ablie Jallow scored their very first AFCON goal.

Mauritania had 61 percent of the possession and had a total of 20 attempts on goal but could not score a single goal. Gambia would hold on for their first ever win at the AFCON.

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