Monday Aug 19, 2019. 12:30
Ghana were the only winners from the opening round of matches in the men’s football tournament at the 2019 African Games in Morocco from this past weekend.
The competition got underway on Friday with Nigeria and Burkina Faso playing to a 1-1 draw at the Centre sportif des FAR just outside Rabat. Ahmad Ghali put the Flying Eagles ahead just before the hour mark, but the Burkinabe earned a share of the spoils in the Group A match thanks to an equaliser from Kalifa Nikiema.
The other scheduled match on Friday between hosts Morocco and South Africa was cancelled, but will hopefully be played at a later date. This is due to the poor preparation and late arrival of the SA men’s football team, whose very participation in the tournament was uncertain until late into last week.
In Group B on Saturday, Senegal (the defending champions) and Mali played to a 0–0 draw in a replay of their U-20 Africa Cup of Nations final from earlier this year, while Ghana claimed the only win of the tournament thus far, defeating Burundi 2-1 thanks to a brace from Tahiru Awudu.
Looking ahead to the second round this midweek, South Africa will open their tournament with a Group A clash against Nigeria on Tuesday evening in Rabat, and this will be followed by the first game for the hosts Morocco, and they will be eager to claim all three points off Burkina Faso.
Group B takes centre stage at Stade Municipal on Wednesday, with Mali looking for a win over Burundi in the early evening fixture, before the night game pits Ghana against Senegal in what should be a thrilling clash between two of the tournament favourites.
African Games 2019 – Men’s football results and fixtures
Group A – Friday 16 August
Nigeria 1-1 Burkina Faso
Morocco v South Africa – Cancelled
Group B – Saturday 17 August
Senegal 0-0 Mali
Burundi 1-2 Ghana
Group A – Tuesday 20 August
South Africa v Nigeria
Burkina Faso v Morocco
Group B – Wednesday 21 August
Mali v Burundi
Ghana v Senegal