Kenya get surprise draw in Egypt as five-goal Algeria bury Zambia
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 15, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Kenya held Mohamed Salah-less Egypt
1-1 and defending champions Algeria buried Zambia under a five-goal avalanche
on Thursday as 2021 Africa Cup of Nations matchday one qualifying continued.
Debutant Mohammed Kudus clinched victory for Ghana over South Africa while
Mali and Guinea ended 2-2 after four goals in 19 minutes.
In other matches, Comoros upset Togo, a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang-inspired
Gabon held the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique were too strong
Even without injured Liverpool goal poacher Salah, Egypt were expected to
overcome traditional poor travellers Kenya at the vast 87,000-capacity Borg
el Arab Stadium near Alexandria.
But after starting anxiously with every player behind the ball, Kenya had
chances to score before they gifted Egypt the lead three minutes before half-
time in the Group G clash.
A back pass from Erick Ouma in the centre circle to goalkeeper Ian Otieno
was too weak and Mahmoud Kahraba took advantage to tap into the net.
Kenya became increasingly assertive in the second half and deservedly
levelled on 67 minutes through a goal that stemmed from another careless back
Michael Olunga was the beneficiary this time, firing into the corner of the
net after an attempt by a teammate was blocked.
Algeria, who edged Senegal 1-0 in July to win the Cup of Nations a second
time, finished strongly to humiliate 2012 champions Zambia 5-0 in Blida.
The surprisingly easy Group H victory extended the unbeaten run of the
Desert Foxes to 17 matches since losing away to Benin last October.
Baghdad Bounedjah, whose second-minute goal won the 2019 final in Cairo,
scored twice, with his first from a 68th-minute penalty giving Algeria a two-
Youcef Belaili, El Arbi Soudani and Bounedjah again netted during the final
15 minutes as the resistance of the Chipolopolo collapsed. – Widest winning
This was the widest winning margin of the 18 matchday one qualifiers played
so far, surpassing the 4-0 hiding Sudan dished out to 10-man Sao Tome e
Principe in Omdurman 24 hours earlier.
Ghana were impressive 2-0 Group C winners over South Africa in a Cape Coast
showdown between former champions longing for a return of the good old days.
It is 37 years since the Black Stars won the last of four Cup of Nations
titles while the lone Bafana Bafana triumph came 23 years ago.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey thrilled a capacity crowd by
scoring nine minutes before half-time and Kudus celebrated his first cap by
netting on 80 minutes.
Aubameyang, who has scored eight Premier League goals this season, was held
goalless in Kinshasa, but will have been thrilled after Gabon forced a 0-0
Group D draw with DR Congo.
Gabon have bitter memories of recent Cup of Nations campaigns — failing to
get past the first round as 2017 hosts and not even qualifying for an
expanded 24-team 2019 tournament.
Mali led twice only to be pegged back each time by Guinea in a Group A
encounter that burst into life when Adama Traore Noss gave the home team a
The Bamako crowd were then enraptured as Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita
equalised, Sekou Koita put Mali ahead a second time and Sekou Conde scored to
earn Guinea a point.
Comoros, who lost a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Togo two months ago, gained
revenge with a 1-0 Group G victory in Lome thanks to a Faiz Selemani goal.