Reigning champions, Nigeria were stunned 3-2 by visiting Congo in Calabar whilst former winners, Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia came from behind to beat Sierra Leone and Botswana.
Ghana’s Black Stars and the Chipolopolo of Zambia were held at home by Uganda and Mozambique whilst South Africa were the biggest winners, beating Sudan 3-0 in Omdurman just as Cape Verde thumped Niger 3-1 in Niamey.
Below is the wrap-up of the Day One matches;
A second half brace from Sibusiso Vilakazi and the other from Bongani Ndulula was enough to land South Africa one of their biggest wins away against Sudan in Omdurman. The result also served a perfect start for new coach Ephraim Mashaba.
In Calabar, Nigeria were undone by a Congolese side which edged them 3-2 in front of their teeming fans. The Diables Rouges led 2-1 at half time with goals from Prince Oniangue and Thievy Bifouma after Efe Ambrose shot the hosts up on 13 minutes. Bifouma scored from the spot on 55 minutes before substitute Gbolahan Salami grabbed a consolation for the homers in the dying stages.
Algerian continued with their impressive form after the World Cup by silencing Ethiopia 2-1 in Addis Ababa. ‘Les Fennecs’ were cruising to a 2-0 after El Arbi Soudani and Yacine Brahimi scored in either half before Saladin Said reduced the deficit for the Ethiopians in stoppage time from the spot.
The other Group B match between Mali and Malawi was rained off and has been rescheduled for Sunday, 7 September 2014 in Bamako.
‘Les Etalons’ got off to a good start courtesy a 2-0 win over the ‘Likuena’ of Lesotho in Ouagadougou. Jonathan Pitroipa broke the deadlock after 11 minutes before Alain Traore sealed victory for the Burkinabes four minutes from recess.
In Libreville, Samsom Mbingui’s 45th minute strike earned Gabon the maximum points at the expense of visiting Angola.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon roared loudest in Lubumbashi with goals from Clinton Njie and Vincent Aboubakar handing them victory over DR Congo.
In Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire came from behind to beat Sierra Leone 2-1. Kei Kamara put the Leone Stars ahead two minutes before half time before a spirited second half performance turned the game in favour of the Ivorians. Substitute Seydou Doumbia leveled on 63 minutes before Gervinho scored the winner five minutes later.
Uganda confirmed their bogey status against Ghana by holding the Black Stars to a 1-1 draw in Kumasi. Tony Mawejje opened the scores on 45 minutes before Andre Ayew leveled for the Ghanaians five minutes after the break from the spot.
Ten-man Guinea were 2-1 winners over Togo in Casablanca, with the Syla Nationale forced to play away from home due to the outbreak of Ebola in their country. Seydouba Soumah opened the scores on 10 minutes from the spot before Idrissa Sylla doubled the lead just before half time. Turkey-based Jonathan Ayite pulled one back for the Togolese on 58 minutes.
The Blue Sharks of Cape Verde humbled Niger 3-1 at the latter’s backyard in Niamey. The Islanders went up by three goals before the half-hour mark through Rodrigues, Odair and Ze Luis. Niger captain Moussa Maazou scored the consolatory strike on 34 minutes.
Former winners, Zambia were held to a barren draw by Mozambique in Ndola.
Record seven-time winners, Egypt, failed to survive in Dakar, slipping to a 2-0 win over Senegal. Mame Biram Diouf and Sadio Mane scored in the first half to ensure victory for the Teranga Lions.
In Monastir, Tunisia survived a first half scare from Botswana to win 2-1. The visitors took the lead just before half time. Bordeaux midfielder Wahbi Khazri restored parity on 74 minutes before captain Yassine Chikaoui converted a penalty in stoppage time to wrap up victory.