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Mali serves up 1st win; Ghana, Congo draw 2-2

 South African police stand amidst empty seats just ahead of the start of Ghana's African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match against Congo at Nelson ...
 Mali's captain Seydou Keita, left, is sprayed with water by his teammates as they celebrate his goal against Niger during Mali's African Cup of Natio...
 Ghana's John Paintsil reacts after the end of time in Ghana's African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match against Congo at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium...
 Mali's captain Seydou Keita, center left, is congratulated by teammates after scoring against Niger in their African Cup of Nations Group B soccer ma...

South Africa African Cup Soccer

South African police stand amidst empty seats just ahead of the start of Ghana's African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match against Congo at Nelson ...

South Africa African Cup Soccer

Mali's captain Seydou Keita, left, is sprayed with water by his teammates as they celebrate his goal against Niger during Mali's African Cup of Natio...

APTOPIX South Africa African Cup Soccer

Ghana's John Paintsil reacts after the end of time in Ghana's African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match against Congo at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium...

South Africa African Cup Soccer

Mali's captain Seydou Keita, center left, is congratulated by teammates after scoring against Niger in their African Cup of Nations Group B soccer ma...

The African Cup of Nations returned to its normal order on Sunday with sunshine, empty stands, reckless yet eye-catching football and politics all thrown in.
Seydou Keita ensured Mali was the first team to win at the tournament then called attention to his conflict-torn country by wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a slogan calling for peace.
Mali's 1-0 win over Niger through Keita's late goal ended a run of three straight draws to start the African Cup, although Ghana's 2-2 result against Congo in the other game was nothing like the drab scoreless encounters on the rain-dampened opening day.
Instead, title contender Ghana blew a 2-0 lead against a bold Congo team to open Group B in a pulsating flurry of attacking enthusiasm and defensive naivety from both teams.


Updated : 2021-01-18 21:44 GMT+08:00