Only one side saw the back of the net yesterday at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as Ghana, Uganda, Mali and Egypt each played their opening games in Group D.
It was Ghana and Uganda who got things underway on Tuesday. The Black Stars had this one in the bag after just 32 minutes when they found themselves with a chance to convert from the spot after veteran forward Asamoah Gyan was dragged down by Uganda’s Isaac Isinde. West Ham forward Andre Ayew was the one to step up and coolly slot it home giving the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations runners-up a 1-0 lead that they would eventually see out until the referee’s final whistle.
Uganda’s best chance came just minutes before halftime when Standard Liege midfielder Faruku Miya saw his effort smack the outside of the post.
Ghana could have made it two late on, but Christian Atsu’s snap-shot was kept out by Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
The later game saw Mali and Egypt play out to what was the competition’s fifth draw so far. Both sides saw very few opportunities to go in front with Egypt squandering the best of the chances.
Although Mohamed Elneny and Marwan Mohsen will dream about what could have been had they converted on their chances, one Egypt player in particular will be pleased with his involvement in the match. Goalkeeper Essam El Hadary became the oldest player to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations when he was subbed on after starting goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shenawy injured himself colliding with the post.
El Hadary, 44, did enough to keep a clean sheet in his 148th appearance for his country.
Group D play resumes on Saturday when leaders Ghana hope to secure another three points against Mali. In the later kickoff Egypt will hope to take better advantage of their chances as they battle last place Uganda who need to bounce back if they expect to move on in the competition.