Egypt tops Zimbabwe 1-0 in Africa Cup of Nations opener

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Egypt topped Zimbabwe 1-0 on a first-half strike from Kasimpasa winger Mahmoud Trezeguet to begin the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Four minutes before the break, the 24-year-old burst down the left flank past two closing defenders before passing to Ayman Ashraf towards the middle. Ashraf sent it right back to Trezeguet as he cut back into the middle, with the winger slipping past two more defenders in the penalty box before sending a shot past Edmore Sibanda.

While the hosts couldn’t find the back of the net again, they dominated the game, owning 59% of possession and putting nine shots on target to Zimbabwe’s two. Mohamed Salah forced Sibanda to make a big save in the second half, and the Zimbabwe keeper made nine saves in total before he was injured with 10 minutes to go, a blow to the visitors who lost their best performer.

Otherwise, there was very little goalmouth action on either end, but Egypt will take it as they go atop Group A with Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda rounding out the foursome.

The tournament gets under way in earnest on Saturday as the rest of Group A finishes its first round plus Nigeria meets Burundi and Guinea takes on Madagascar. The tournament is the biggest yet for the African continental competition and it marks the first time it is held in the summer, looking to keep from disrupting the club season as it has in the past.