Draws mean no Group B clarity

Little clarity on the likely outcome of Africa Cup of Nations Group B was offered by the four protagonists on their opening night of competition at the Estadio de Ebebeyin on Sunday.

Two 1-1 draws between, first, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia and then the Cape Verde Islands and Tunisia means all four sides are level after the first round of matches.

The Cape Verde Islands, competing in only their second finals, were the most pleased after coming from a goal down to hold fancied Tunisia in the second game at the 5 000-seater stadium in the small jungle town in the top eastern corner of Equatorial Guinea.

Striker Heldon converted a penalty seven minutes after Mohamed Ali Moncer had given Tunisia the lead with a debut goal in the 70th minute.

"We wanted to win but we have to remember we came from one down so I think it was a good result at the end of the day," said Cape Verde Islands coach Rui Aguas.

"It is back to square one for all of us, making the next games that much more important," added his Tunisian counterpart George Leekens.

Earlier, Zambia scored after two minutes but then let the game slip as the Congolese took control in the second half and conjoured up a deserved equaliser just over an hour later from Yannick Bolasie.

Given Singuluma's rasping shot gave the group a rousing start but the two matches only delivered limited moments of excitement for an enthusiastic crowd, who were each examined by health officials at the gate who took their temperature and handed out a hand disinfectant before allowing entry.

Prevention of the spread of Ebola has been high on the agenda for organisers after the hosting of the tournament was switched to tiny Equatorial Guinea when Morocco asked of a postponement for fears visiting fans might bring the deadly disease into their country.


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