CHAN 2018: Namibia and Zambia win Group B openers
Debutants Namibia edged out Ivory Coast 1-0 and Zambia beat Uganda 3-1 in the opening Group B games at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco.
In the first game at a near empty stadium in Marrakech, Namibia's Charles Hambira netted in the final seconds.
In the day's second game, Zambia took the lead through Lazarous Kambole but Derrick Nsibambi soon equalised.
Augustine Mulenga tapped home a second for Zambia, and a mistake from Benjamin Ochan gifted them their third goal.
Uganda, who are looking to get past the group stages for the first time at their fourth attempt, started well, with Allan Kyambadde, Taddeo Lwanga and Karisa Milton going close.
But it was Zambia who scored first, the ball put through to Ernest Mbewe on the right wing and his first-time cross slotted home by Kambole.
Just two minutes later Uganda were level with a superb scissor-kick finish from Nsibambi, who turned home a cutback from Karisa.
Neither side created much in the way of chances in the opening 18 minutes of the second half, until Zambia's Mulenga scored into an open goal after Kambole's cut-back evaded Ochan and the rest of the Ugandan defence.
Zambia's win was sealed in the 72nd minute when a free-kick from Fackson Kapumbu hit Uganda's two-man wall and looped goalwards, where Ochan dropped it over the line.
The earlier Group B game was a scrappy affair with few chances.
The best opportunity of the first half fell to Namibia's Petrus Shitembi on the edge of the area, but his shot was at a good height for Ble Zadi to palm away to safety.
Ivory Coast then had to deal with more danger when Ferdinand Karongee's overhead kick on the byline created a chance, but a weak header was easily cleared.
The second half also lacked many clear chances - Ivory Coast's William Togui having one of the better ones as he cut in from the left and found space for a shot but it went wide.
Then, in the final seconds, Namibia were awarded a free-kick wide on the touchline that was swung in by Riann Hanamub and Hambira got the faintest of touches to score.
Next up for Zambia are Ivory Coast, while Uganda face Namibia. Both matches will be played in Marrakech on Thursday.