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AFCON 2023: Summary of opening matches, statistics, upsets and surprisesMohammed Kudus’ magic secures vital point for Ghana against Egypt

From heart-pumping action to jaw-dropping surprises, the opening matches of AFCON2023 wrapped up with 12 epic clashes contested by 24 teams, all in 7 days with twists, turns, and upsets that left many in awe.

The opening matches of the tournament have been filled with exciting upsets, as highly-regarded teams such as Ghana, Tunisia, and Cameroon struggled in futility, to secure victories against their underdog opponents.

Seven-time champions Egypt narrowly avoided defeat against Mozambique thanks to a penalty goal from Mohammed Salah, South Africa fell to Mali in a surprise defeat, Ghana lost to Capo Verde, Algeria booked a draw with Angola, and Tunisia lost to Namibia.

Out of the 12 games played, only seven teams managed to secure maximum points, including Morocco, Namibia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sénégal, Capo Verde, and Ivory Coast.

An average of 2.25 goals per match were scored across the 12 games with Senegal’s Lamine Camara currently leading the top scorer charts with two goals.

Meanwhile, six teams –
including Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal, Burkina Faso, Namibia, Mali, and Morocco – have been able to keep clean sheets, demonstrating their strong defensive prowess.

The second matches of the 2023 AFCON will begin on Thursday, January 18 with Nigeria against Ivory Coast, Ghana will face Egypt and Guinea Bissau will go up against Equatorial Guinea.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Mohammed Kudus scored two magical goals for Ghana but two costly mistakes ensured that spoils were shared with seven-time record champions, Egypt.

The results means Ghana has its first point at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations while Egypt have two points after they draw in the first game.

It was a good start for Ghana with Majeed Ashimeru dazzling in the midfield with his fast pace and trickery.

Kudus made his first effort at goal in the opening quarter but lacked the power to beat Egyptian goalkeeper Ahmed Elshewani.

This was certainly the Black Stars we knew off as they maintained possession and curtailed the offensive threat from the Egyptians.

Mohammed Salah was largely kept quiet by Gideon Mensah who had a brilliant opening half hour.

Egypt’s first attempt came in the 31st minute but Mohammed Abdella’s effort was easily gathered by Richard Ofori.

Liverpool forward Mohammed Salah was eventually substituted in the late stages of the first after an injury.

There stepped up Ghana’s star boy Mohammed K
udus who powered in a low shot past Egyptian goalkeeper Ahmed Elshewani in the third minute of first half added time.

The Egyptians started the second half on the front foot and the ball at the back through Mohammed Ahmed but the was adjudged to be offside.

The pressure on the Black Stars was very intense with the Egyptian seeking to pull parity.

Despite being on the back-foot, Antione Semenyo had a good opportunity to score another goal for Ghana but his effort lacked the power to beat goalkeeper Elshewani.

Inaki William made a costly mistake in the 68th minute as his back pass gifted Omar Marmoush a sight at goal and the striker capitalised on it.

But once again Mohammed Kudus stepped up and curled in a low strike just two minute later with the 2 0,000 fans chanting his name.

The celebrations couldn’t last long as another mistake from substitute Usman Bukari would prove costly as Mostapha Abdella capitalized on scored from close range.

Both sides held on as the points were shared at the end of 90 min
utes.

Source: Ghana News Agency