Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro is standing by his bullish claim that he will lead the Super Eagles to their first Africa Cup of Nations title since 2013.

Peseiro’s men head into their final Group A game against already-eliminated Guinea-Bissau in Abidjan on Monday knowing just a draw will be good enough to secure their place in the knockout stages.

But after watching his side shrug off their sluggish start against Equatorial Guinea by beating hosts Ivory Coast last time out, Peseiro is demanding his side maintain their belated momentum.

Peseiro told a press conference: “I have said I want to win AFCON even though my contract says I should get to the final.

“It would be better to protect myself and not create expectations because if I don’t win, it is worse for me. But I put my mind and the mind of my players that we want to win.”

Peseiro is expected to pick between Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Joe Aribo of Southampton for a midfield berth with Alhassan Yusuf set to miss out again.

Guinea-Bissau will go into the game at full strength despite their elimination after their second consecutive defeat against Equatorial Guinea last time out.

Head coach Baciro Cande is determined that his side bow out on a high note, admitting: “I feel sad.

“We wanted to win (against Equatorial Guinea) but did not succeed. Before their goal, we had four chances plus a penalty that was refused.

“We worked hard to be ready and football is sometimes like that. We have one game left to close the group stage, and we hope to win.”

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Tunisia claimed their first point in Africa Cup of Nations Group E as Hamza Rafia’s strike secured a 1-1 draw with Mali in Korhogo.

The 2004 champions, looking to bounce back from a shock 1-0 loss to Namibia in their opener, fell behind in the 10th minute via Lassine Sinayoko’s second goal of the tournament before hitting back through Rafia 10 minutes later.

While Jalel Kadri’s third-placed team get off the mark, Eric Chelle’s Mali top the group with four points, having beaten South Africa 2-0 in their first match.

Tunisia threatened in the opening few moments as Sheffield United’s Anis Ben Slimane’s curling free-kick from the left was punched away by goalkeeper Djigui Diarra.

Mali then grabbed the lead with what was their first real attack, Sinayoko collecting the ball from Kamory Doumbia, turning, squeezing past two men as he advanced into the box and drilling a low shot that went in off the far post to add to his goal against South Africa.

As Tunisia sought a swift reply captain Youssef Msakni’s header was intercepted on the line by Kiki Kouyate, and two minutes later they were level when Ali Abdi’s cutback teed up a Rafia strike, with Diarra getting a touch but unable to stop the ball going in.

The closing stages of the first half saw Doumbia shoot off-target, before Ben Slimane and Abdi did the same at the other end.

After the break, Bechir Ben Said did well to turn a Doumbia drive around the post and Sinayoko then failed to take two good chances in quick succession, missing the target on each on occasion.

Tunisia substitute Sayfallah Ltaief subsequently saw a strike blocked by Sikou Niakate and Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma, having also come off the bench, fired a free-kick wide late on as the sides shared the points.

Morocco head coach Walid Regragui has told his players to forget about their winning Africa Cup of Nations start when they face DR Congo on Sunday.

Tournament favourites Morocco, semi-finalists at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, cruised to a 3-0 win against 10-man Tanzania in their opening Group F match.

The Atlas Lions can all but secure their place in the knockout stage with victory against DR Congo at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro.

Regragui told a press conference: “The first thing we need to do is forget about the first match we had.

“It is a very difficult tournament both physically and mentally, and each match has its own reality.

“We had a good start, but we need to do the same (on Sunday) against a team that is not easy.”

Regragui conceded his players had struggled with the hot and humid conditions in their opening game, adding: “(We are) fighting with both the opponent team and the climate.

“To win this competition, one must be the best during both strong and weak moments.”

DR Congo head coach Sebastien Desabre could not hide his frustration after his side were held 1-1 by Zambia in their opening match and they must avoid defeat to keep their hopes of progressing out of the group alive.

The Frenchman said: “It wasn’t a final. There are still two finals remaining and the ambition is to win the next two matches.

The Leopards missed a host of chances against Zambia and Desabre added: “Above all, I hope that my attackers will be more effective.”

Morocco’s Bayern Munich defender Noussair Mazraoui remains doubtful due to a thigh injury sustained while playing for his club side before the tournament.

DR Congo have no major new injury concerns, while Young Boys forward Meschak Elia and Braga’s Simon Banza are pushing for starting places after stepping off the bench against Zambia.

Tanzania are “ready” to face Zambia in their second Africa Cup of Nations game after the suspension of head coach Adel Amrouche, acting boss Hemed Suleiman has said.

Following Tanzania’s 3-0 loss to Morocco in their Group F opener in Ivory Coast, in which they had Novatus Miroshi sent off, Amrouche was given an eight-match ban by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

A statement from the organisation said the sanction had come with Amrouche having been charged “for bringing CAF into disrepute following comments and allegations he made about the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.”

The Tanzanian Football Federation suspended Amrouche and appointed assistant Suleiman as acting head coach, and he said in quotes on the tournament’s official website ahead of Sunday’s clash: “After the match against Morocco, we prepared our team mentally and physically.

“We have also resolved our problems and we are ready to play Zambia. It’s a great team with good players but we have objectives for this tournament too.

“It’s a big responsibility for me to be here. But that’s normal too. The head coach could have had a red card so I have always had to be prepared for such situations.”

Zambia, managed by former Chelsea and West Ham boss Avram Grant, drew 1-1 in their opening match against DR Congo.

Grant said: “The most important thing in football is the next match. We started well against DR Congo but the focus now is Tanzania.

“This meeting is important because we want to win to increase our chances of qualifying for the next round.

“We have our own style of play. We want to move forward, and score goals every time. The Tanzania team is very solid. We will have to expect a complicated match.”

Gelson Dala struck twice as Angola beat Mauritania 3-2 in a breathless Africa Cup of Nations clash to go top of Group D.

Dala’s first-half opener was cancelled out by Sidi Amar, but he scored his second soon after the interval and Gilberto put Angola 3-1 ahead three minutes later.

Aboubakary Koita fired a stunning second goal for Mauritania just before the hour-mark and his side searched for an equaliser in a pulsating match, but Angola held on.

Mabululu, who stepped off the bench to score in Angola’s opening 1-1 draw with Algeria, forced the first save of the match with an angled drive.

Both sides created plenty of first-half chances and Pape Ba went close for Mauritania when his shot from inside the penalty area was saved.

Angola took a deserved lead in the 30th minute when Dala provided a thumping close-range finish, only for Mauritania to equalise against the run of play before the break through Amar’s low finish from inside the area.

It was Mauritania’s first-ever African Cup of Nations goal from open play.

In first-half stoppage time, Mauritania’s Omare Gassama forced Angola goalkeeper Neblu into a brilliant low save and Dala was denied at the other end by Babacar Niasse.

The Palancas Negras appeared to take control early in the second half with two goals in the space of three minutes.

Dala burst through the middle into the penalty area and although forced wide, he fired a left-footed finish into the far corner to put Angola 2-1 up in the 50th minute.

Angola doubled their lead in the 53rd minute. Gilberto pounced on Mauritania substitute Khadim Diaw’s mistake in the box and his angled shot flew into the net via a deflection.

In a see-saw encounter Mauritania hit back five minutes later with an early contender for goal of the tournament.

Koita dropped his shoulder to make space 30 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot into Neblu’s top right-hand corner.

Neblu thwarted Amar with a flying save and as the chances continued to flow, Dala was denied his hat-trick by Mauritania goalkeeper Niasse.

Koita fired off target as Mauritania, who lost out to a stoppage-time penalty in their opening 1-0 defeat to Burkina Faso, pressed for an equaliser but they failed to carve out any further clear-cut chances.

Al Sadd striker Baghdad Bounedjah kept Algeria’s Africa Cup of Nations hopes alive with a stoppage-time header to deny Burkina Faso victory.

Boundejah, who had earlier cancelled out Mohamed Konate’s opener, snatched a 2-2 Group D draw at the Stade de Bouake when he found the net five minutes into added time to ensure substitute Bertrand Traore’s 71st-minute penalty did not prove decisive.

The Stallions, who beat Mauritania in their opening fixture, looked destined for the last 16 as time ticked down, but Boundejah’s last-gasp intervention means both sides have work to do if they are to progress.

Chances were at a premium as the first half unfolded with Burkina Faso midfielder Abdoul Tapsoba forcing keeper Anthony Mandrea into a sixth-minute save from a header while at the other end, Youcef Belaili tested Kouakou Koffi with a shot towards the bottom corner six minutes later.

Algeria, who drew 1-1 with Angola in their first game, went close through Bounedjah as the sides jostled for position, and Koffi saved from Sofiane Feghouli a minute before the break with skipper Riyad Mahrez providing the ammunition.

However, they fell behind in first-half stoppage time when Konate headed past Mandrea from Tapsoba’s cross.

Blati Toure might have extended his side’s lead four minutes after the restart, but they were pegged back by Bounedjah’s close-range finish two minutes later.

Bounedjah went close with a header as Algeria built up a head of steam, but they succumbed once again with 19 minutes remaining when defender Rayan Ait-Nouri was adjudged to have fouled Issa Kabore inside the box and after a VAR review confirmed the decision, substitute Traore converted the resulting spot-kick.

However, there was to be a late twist and it arrived at the death when Bounedjah netted from substitute Adam Ounas’ cross to snatch a point.

Namibia head coach Collin Benjamin believes his side are “immune” to their underdogs status as they attempt to make history on Sunday.

Deon Hotto’s late header gave the Namibians their first ever win in the Africa Cup of Nations as the Brave Warriors stunned 2004 champions Tunisia 1-0 in their Group E opener earlier this week.

Another surprise victory when they take on South Africa in Korhogo this weekend would represent a major step towards reaching the knockout stages of the competition for the first time.

And Benjamin argued one of the touchstones of his side’s successful start to their campaign has been their ability to block out noise from outside the camp.

“They are just focused on the task at hand. I have never seen such dedication from a group of players,” said Benjamin. “On the field, in the gym, during breakfast, they are just focused. Even I am afraid of them!

“They not only carrying their own aspirations but it’s the hopes and dreams of the entire nation. For us being underdogs to a certain extent we are immune to it.

“We are preparing properly and as professionals. We are going to give everything, and this is what we live for.”

South Africa are looking to rebound from their 2-0 loss to Mali earlier this week, with Bafana Bafana boss Hugo Broos urging his side to learn from their errors.

“The only thing that we cannot do is to repeat the same mistakes that we made with Mali,” Broos said in quotes on the competition’s official website.

Egypt have allayed serious injury fears over Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah, but their captain’s Africa Cup of Nations could still be over.

Salah was forced off in the first half of Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana on Thursday after he sustained a muscle injury and it sparked concerns from both an international and club football point of view.

Salah was sent for scans and the results have shown a strain in his posterior muscle, which is set to rule the forward out of Egypt’s final Group B fixture and a potential last-16 tie for a nation that finished runners-up in the 2021 edition.

“The x-rays that Mohamed Salah, the captain of the Egyptian national team, underwent, showed that he suffered a strain in the posterior muscle,” an Egyptian Football Association statement read.

“And he will miss the team’s next two matches in the African Nations against Cape Verde, and then the round of 16 match in the event of qualification.”

Egypt are currently second in Group B after two draws with Mozambique and Ghana and will face leaders Cape Verde on January 22 knowing only a victory will guarantee their passage into the knockout stages.

Salah will be restricted to a watching role and it could also be the case for a potential last-16 tie at the end of January, but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will breath a sigh of relief at the news the injury to his forward is only a strain and nothing more significant.

Aguibou Camara’s second-half goal fired Guinea to a precious 1-0 victory over Gambia in Group C of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Both nations had failed to claim all three points in their tournament openers and were aware of the significance on this fixture towards their knockout stage hopes.

After a goalless first half in Yamoussoukro, Camera made the breakthrough with 21 minutes left when he slid home from Morgan Guilavogui’s cross and it proved enough to move Guinea up to four points ahead of their final group game with current leaders Senegal.

Gambia boss Tom Saintfiet shuffled his pack with five changes made from their opening loss to Senegal, but chances were few and far between early on.

Guinea almost took the lead in the 33rd minute, but Mohamed Bayo’s right-footed strike hit the post and it remained 0-0 at half-time.

Kaba Diawara’s Guinea continued to press for the opener and forced a number of corners before the deadlock was finally broken after 69 minutes.

Guilavogui was the architect for the goal after he collected Ibrahim Diakite’s pass and cut back for Camara to poke home after he beat Gambia defender James Gomez to the centre.

It sparked jubilant scenes from the Guinea team and it was almost 2-0 moments later, but Bayo struck the crossbar from close range.

Ex-Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita was introduced late on and he helped Guinea hold on for a potentially vital victory to claim a semblance of revenge after Gambia knocked them out of the 2021 edition in the last-16 stage.

Marseille striker Ismaila Sarr starred as defending Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal eased their way into the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Cameroon.

Sarr’s deflected strike gave his side a 16th-minute lead and it was he who set up fellow frontman Habib Diallo after the break before Sadio Mane cemented victory at Stade Charles Konan Banny in stoppage time to guarantee his side’s progression from Group C.

Cameroon responded belatedly when Jean-Charles Castelletto powered home a header from Olivier Ntcham’s 83rd-minute cross and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou has guilty of a glaring miss before Mane scored, but Rigobert Song’s men will head into Tuesday’s final group fixture against Gambia with just a single point to their name.

Senegal went ahead after the Cameroon defence failed to deal with Pape Sarr’s 16th-minute corner.

The ball was fed back in to Sarr after goalkeeper Andre Onana had punched it to the edge of the box and he drilled in a low right-footed shot which took a slight deflection off Frank Anguissa and flew into the net.

The Indomitable Lions did not muster a single attempt on goal in the opening 45 minutes and might have fallen further behind six minutes before the break but for Enzo Tchato’s block after Lamine Camara had put Mane in on goal.

Aliou Cisse’s men continued to make the running after the restart, but Olivier Kemen got a sight of goal at the other end, only to loop his 55th-minute header from a deep free-kick high over.

Cameroon’s fortunes took a further turn for the worse with 19 minutes remaining when Sarr turned provider with a low cross for Habib Diallo to make it 2-0 from close range.

Castelletto gave Song’s side hope with seven minutes remaining and they should have been level when Nkoudou headed inexplicably wide in injury time before Mane wrapped up the points.

Mauritania boss Amir Abdou feels his players will not be downhearted by the “injustice” of their opening Africa Cup of Nations defeat when they come up against Angola.

The Lions of Chinguetti lost 1-0 to Burkina Faso in heartbreaking fashion as Bertrand Traore’s penalty in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage-time condemned them to a Group D defeat.

“It was a bit of injustice to us as the boys gave everything, they followed instructions,” head coach Abdou said ahead of Mauritania’s second group game in Bouake.

“Our performance dropped in the second half because of the heat and there was a lot of suffering.

“We are not going to slumber in sorrow. We need to move on from this and prepare ourselves for the next game, which is against Angola.”

Angola began their AFCON campaign with a 1-1 draw against two-time winners Algeria, extending their unbeaten run to six games.

Head coach Pedro Goncalves said: “This team started slowly but we managed to find some spaces and came back into the game in the second half, which the team did better.

“The work isn’t done. The team showed that mentally they are up there so we will continue to build on this in our next matches.”

Mauritania, who are without a win in five games, could be without Aboubakar Kamara.

The former Fulham striker, who now plays for Al Jazira in the UAE Pro League, had to be replaced after 28 minutes against Burkina Faso after sustaining an injury.

Angola could hand a start to Mabululu after the striker came off the bench to score against Algeria.

Cape Verde became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-0 victory over Mozambique.

Bebe’s extraordinary free-kick and a brace from Ryan Mendes in Abidjan guaranteed that the Blue Sharks will top Group B.

Mozambique now lie bottom of the section with one point ahead of their final group game against Ghana, while Cape Verde meet Egypt on Monday.

Cape Verde, fresh from their shock opening victory over Ghana, impressed from the early exchanges.

Deroy Duarte forced an athletic save from Mozambique goalkeeper Ernan Siluane and the Fortuna Sittard midfielder also sent a diving header just wide of a post.

Bebe crashed a dipping 30-yard free-kick against the crossbar, but the former Manchester United striker was not to be denied from an even greater distance.

There appeared little danger as Bebe stood over a free-kick fully 40 yards out, but his swerving shot bamboozled Siluane who could only palm the ball into the net.

Mozambique caused few alarms until Witi’s tame effort straight at Vozinha, but the Mambas appeared to be handed a route back into the contest five minutes before the break.

Geny Catamo went down under a challenge from two defenders and a penalty was awarded before referee Samir Guezzaz was summoned to the VAR monitor and reversed his decision.

Mendes doubled the Blue Sharks’ advantage after 51 minutes by dispossessing the dawdling Edmilson Dove and firing home from the edge of the box.

Catamo clipped the crossbar with a curling free-kick with Mozambique’s best effort but their hopes were ended in spectacular style.

Mendes was given time and space to tee off from 25 yards, and his thumping drive whistled past Siluane for his 17th international goal and put the seal on a commanding performance.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi wants his side to learn lessons from their frustrating opening draw against Angola when they face Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

The 2019 champions allowed Angola to score a second-half equaliser during a 1-1 draw on Monday in a disappointing start to the tournament, which means they are now without a win in their last four AFCON fixtures – having not win since lifting the trophy with victory over Senegal.

“It was not the result we expected,” Belmadi said. “We were expecting to have three points. We tried our best and didn’t want to lose the game so we did what we can do to get a point which was necessary.

“We were supposed to do better in the second half, but we can also talk about the moments we did well.

“We have identified our weakness as we didn’t defend very well for us to concede the penalty which was a big mistake. We are in a transitional period so we try for this team to work together and we have also learnt lessons from this game for our remaining games.

“We made some technical mistakes, but it’s not professional to start a tournament with the mindset of a loser so we will prepare for the match against Burkina Faso to put things right.”

Burkina Faso enjoyed an excellent start to the tournament with a 1-0 win over Mauritania on Tuesday courtesy of Bertrand Traore’s late penalty and they, are looking to win consecutive games for just a third time in their history and the first time since 2017.

Tunisia head coach Jalel Kadri is expecting a positive reaction as his squad look to keep alive their Africa Cup of Nations hopes against Mali.

The Eagles of Carthage slumped to a shock defeat by Namibia in their opening Group E match and now face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages.

Kadri, whose position is reported to be under threat should they fail to qualify, feels the squad can pull together to produce the required performance in Korhogo on Saturday.

“There are two matches remaining – and our reaction must be positive,” he told reporters.

“Then, God willing, we can get out of this situation we have put ourselves in.

“Argentina lost its first World Cup match against Saudi Arabia, but ultimately won the title.”

Tunisia will be without forward Taha Yassine Khenissi, who is set to miss the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury picked up during the first half against Namibia.

Mali kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win over South Africa to sit top of the table.

Coach Eric Chelle, though, is not getting carried away as Mali aim to make the knockout stages for the first time.

“I would not say we are favourites to win the group just yet. Yes, we got the victory but a lot can still happen,” Chelle said at a press conference.

“We still have matches to play and so we have to keep working hard.”

Egypt captain Mohamed Salah was forced off with an injury before his side twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations.

Egypt and Liverpool fans face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the problem after the 31-year-old was forced off in the last minute of the first half of a thrilling Group B contest.

Salah slumped dejectedly to the ground with an apparent muscle injury and, after briefly being attended to by Egypt’s medical staff, handed over the armband to defender Ahmed Hegazi as he was replaced by Mostafa Fathi.

To add insult to injury, moments later West Ham forward Mohammed Kudus broke the deadlock in brilliant fashion as he held off the attentions of three defenders before drilling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.

Salah, who scored a stoppage-time equaliser from the penalty spot as Egypt drew 2-2 with Mozambique in their first group game, had earlier been involved in a furious row with referee Pierre Atcho after Omar Marmoush went down in the area.

Salah appeared to be appealing for a penalty despite a free-kick being given against Marmoush and the former was perhaps fortunate not to be shown a yellow card for his vehement protests.

Despite the loss of Salah, Egypt started the second half well and had a goal disallowed for offside in the 51st minute before the impressive Marmoush was gifted the chance to equalise.

The 24-year-old pounced on a woeful backpass from Inaki Williams and calmly rounded goalkeeper Richard Ofori before sliding the ball into an empty net from a narrow angle.

Parity lasted just two minutes however, Kudus receiving a pass from Denis Odoi in the area and seeing his left-footed shot take a slight deflection off the unfortunate Mohamed Abdelmonem and beyond goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.

The breathless action showed no signs of slowing and Egypt equalised for the second time just three minutes later, with Ghana again guilty of contributing to their own downfall.

Osman Bukari was dispossessed by Trezeguet on the right-hand side of his own area and the Trabzonspor midfielder drove to the byline before pulling the ball back for Mostafa Mohamed to stab home.

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