U-23 Cup of Nations: Nigeria win as Algeria and Egypt draw

The Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations trophy

North African rivals Egypt and Algeria drew 1-1 in their opening Under-23 Africa Cup Of Nations Group B match in Mbour on Sunday.

Mahmoud Ablehamid Soliman opened the scoring for the Egyptians, before Oussama Chita equalised for Algeria.

The tournament, which features eight African countries, also serves as a qualifying tournament for next year's Olympic Games with the top three finishers booking a place in Rio.

Nigeria survived a second-half onslaught to beat Mali 3-2 in the other Group B match to complete a joyful weekend for coach Samson Siasia .

The mother of former national team star Siasia was released Saturday 12 days after being kidnapped from a southern Nigerian village by gunmen.

Siasia, who was in the Gambia preparing the Olympic hopefuls when the abduction occurred, said he had spoken to his "happy" 72-year-old mother before the Mali match.

Mali hit the woodwork after just 35 seconds before Junior Ajayi Oluwafemi scored twice and Muhammed Usman once to build a 3-0 half-time lead for Nigeria.

A resurgent Mali scored twice within 11 minutes to trail by only one goal with a quarter of the game left, and missed several chances to equalise against the constantly back-pedalling Nigerians.

Adama Niane converted a penalty to offer the Malians a glimmer of hope and Soulyemane Sissoko claimed a second goal on 65 minutes from close range.

Meanwhile, hosts Senegal opened the tournament on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over South Africa in the first match of Group A in Dakar.

Two goals from Ibrahima Keita and a late Sidy Sarr strike helped the hosts secure their win on Saturday, with South Africa's goal coming from Phumlani Ntshangase.

After a bright opening spell from South Africa, it was Senegal who took the lead after 16 minutes, with Ibrahima Keita scoring from the penalty spot.

Just four minutes later, Senegal made it 2-0 with Keita grabbing his second, this time from open play.

In an eventful first half, South Africa hauled themselves back into the game just before the half-hour mark.

Phumlani Ntshangase made it 2-1 with another penalty in the 28th minute to give South Africa hope going into the second half.

But Senegal increased their lead three minutes from time as substitute Sidy Sarr struck to make it 3-1 to the hosts.

Later on Saturday, Tunisia defeated Zambia 2-1 in the second Group A fixture.

Haithem Jouini put Tunisia ahead after just four minutes.

Zambia equalised in the 15th minute through Ronaldo Kampamba.

It was 1-1 at the break, and the match looked to be heading for a draw until Jouini struck for a second time six minutes from time to hand the Tunisians the victory.

It means that Senegal lead the Group A standings.

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