By: Gyang Dakwo
Nigeria were held to a 1-1 draw in their Africa Cup of Nations Group A opener with Equatorial Guinea just as Mozambique pulled a surprising 2-2 draw with Egypt in a group B opening match.
Iban Salvador netted a surprise opener for Equatorial Guinea against the run of play with a well-worked goal, but the lead lasted only two minutes before Napoli forward Osimhen headed Nigeria level.
The west African side dominated the chances after that but found Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Jesus Owono in fine form as he made several outstanding saves, to go with some poor finishing.
Nigeria next meet hosts Ivory Coast in a potentially crucial pool clash on Thursday, while Equatorial Guinea face Guinea-Bissau, who lost 2-0 to the Ivorians in Saturday’s tournament opening game.
Meanwhile Mohamed Salah’s injury-time penalty saved Egypt from a shock defeat in their Africa Cup of Nations opener against Mozambique.
After Mostafa Mohamed opened the scoring inside 90 seconds, two goals in four second half minutes from Witi Quembo and Clesio Bauque had the underdogs lined up for one of the great shocks in the history of the competition.
A clumsy challenge from Domingos Macandza on Mohamed was not initially given as a spot-kick but, after viewing a sideline screen, the referee reversed his decision and the Liverpool man slotted home in-off the post to end the match two apiece.