In the buildup to the highly anticipated 34th edition of the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire 2023, teams engaged in final tune-ups with pre-tournament friendlies, showcasing both promising performances and areas for improvement.
In Kumasi, Ghana’s Black Stars clashed with Namibia in a closely contested match that ultimately ended in a goalless draw. Despite their best efforts, Ghana couldn’t penetrate Namibia’s organized defense. Coaches on both sides acknowledged the significance of the encounter in highlighting areas that demand attention before the start of the competition.
Meanwhile, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and Zambia engaged in a spirited battle, resulting in a 1-1 draw. Patson Daka’s early goal put Zambia in the lead, but Darlin Yongwa of the Indomitable Lions responded with an equalizer. The match showcased the competitive spirit of both teams as they fine-tune their strategies ahead of the tournament.
Equatorial Guinea faced Djibouti, with neither side able to secure a decisive victory as they settled for a 1-1 draw. Carlos Akakpo’s goal for Nzalang Nacional was met with resistance from Djibouti, signaling a need for adjustments in their preparations.
However, the spotlight was on Algeria’s Desert Foxes, who wrapped up their training in Lomé, Togo, with a commanding 4-0 triumph over Burundi. Djamel Belmadi’s men, coming off a 3-0 victory against the local team of Togo, continued their impressive form. Baghdad Bounedjah, Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani, and Mohamed Amoura all found the back of the net, underlining Algeria’s strength as they head into the AFCON.
Defending champions Senegal bid farewell to their supporters with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Niger at the Abdoulaye Wade Stadium. Formose Mendy’s goal deep into added time secured the win, offering a glimpse of the resilience that defines the Lions.
In another encounter, Egypt asserted their dominance over Tanzania with a 2-0 victory. Mahmoud Trezeguet opened the scoring, and Mohamed Salah’s penalty sealed the deal for the Pharaohs in a match where they showcased their prowess.