Hosts Mauritania got off to a slow start in this year’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon in the tournament’s opening match.
Sunday Junior scored the winning goal in the 81st minute in a closely fought encounter at the Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott on Sunday to send Cameroon second in Group A.
After the match, Mauritanian player Oumar Mbareck admitted that his side made some mistakes which allowed Cameroon to punish them, while vowing to make amends in the following match.
“We played very well but we could not win, and I apologize to the people for this. I believe we are a good team, and we will have to work hard and do better in the second match,” Mbareck said.
The early leaders in Group A are Uganda who battled past Mozambique at the same venue on Monday with a 2-0 victory. Derrick Kakooza’s penalty just before the hour mark and a fabulous strike Steven Sserwadda three minutes before time sealed the win.
Uganda leads the group with three points ahead of Cameroon on goal difference while Mauritania and Mozambique are third and fourth, respectively.
Meanwhile the games in Group B later on Monday yielded no winner with all sides settling for draws.
Amazing Kandjii scored a late equalizer to salvage a 1-1 draw for tournament debutants Namibia against Central African Republic who had taken the lead through Flory Yangao.
The other game saw Burkina Faso and Tunisia play out a goalless draw.
Central African Republic and Namibia are first and second respectively in the group followed by Burkina Faso and Tunisia; all teams have one point each.
Tuesday’s games will see three-time champions and former World Cup winners Ghana take on debutants Tanzania in Nouadhibou in Group C while 1997 winners Morocco face Gambia.