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Recap: Ligue 1 stars in AFCON

Recap: Ligue 1 stars in AFCON

Publish on 01/17 at 00:00 - P. MEEHAN


As the AFCON action unfolded over three matches, we saw some Ligue 1 players on the pitch looking to be vital for their national team. Let’s take a look at what happened today.

In a closely contested battle, Burkina Faso secured a 1-0 victory over Mauritania. The lone goal came from Bertrand Traoré, who precisely converted a penalty. Traoré, formerly of Olympique Lyonnais, helped secure Burkina Faso's first-ever opening game win in AFCON. 

Namibia would then make history with today’s AFCON appearance, stunning the football world by defeating Tunisia 1-0 and earning their first-ever AFCON win. Montassar Talbi, representing FC Lorient, had a challenging day as he started in the match for Tunisia. Namibia's victory becomes the early narrative of AFCON 2023, showcasing the tournament's potential for underdogs to shine.

Mali then delivered a dominant performance, securing a convincing 2-0 victory over South Africa. Despite a challenging first half for Mali, where South Africa missed a penalty and several chances, the tables turned in the second half. Three Ligue 1 players – Falaye Sacko (Montpellier HSC), Boubakar Kouyaté (Montpellier HSC), and Kamory Doumbia (Stade Brestois 29) – played pivotal roles in Mali's victory. The match witnessed a tale of two halves, with Mali's second-half dominance leading to two breathtaking goals, from Auxerre striker Lassine Sinayoko and former Rennes fullback Hamari Traoré to seal an impressive win.

The early stages of AFCON 2023 have set the tone for an exciting tournament, filled with unexpected twists and standout individual performances. As the competition progresses, we anticipate more thrilling encounters and potential upsets that make AFCON a spectacle.

Photo credit: CAF_Online

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