Hosts Rwanda got off to a winning start to begin the 2016 edition of the African Nations Championship. On a day when Group A's teams were in action, Rwanda saw off the Ivory Coast, while Gabon and Morocco fought to a stalemate.
Here are the final scores from the opening day's games:
|CHAN 2016 Results: Group A Scores|
Here's what those results mean for the group standings:
|CHAN 2016 Standings: Group A|
For the full group standings, click here.
Here's the rest of the schedule for the group stage:
|CHAN 2016: Full Schedule for the Group Stage|
|Date||Time (GMT / ET)||Group||Match|
|Jan. 17||1 pm / 8 am||B||Congo vs. Ethiopia|
|Jan. 17||4 pm / 11 am||B||Angola vs. Cameroon|
|Jan. 18||1 pm / 8 am||C||Tunisia vs. Guinea|
|Jan. 18||4 pm / 11 am||C||Nigeria vs. Niger|
|Jan. 19||1 pm / 8 am||D||Zimbabwe vs. Zambia|
|Jan. 19||4 pm / 11 am||D||Mali vs. Uganda|
|Jan. 20||1 pm / 8 am||A||Rwanda vs. Gabon|
|Jan. 20||4 pm / 11 am||A||Morocco vs. Ivory Coast|
|Jan. 21||1 pm / 8 am||B||Congo vs. Angola|
|Jan. 21||4 pm / 11 am||B||Cameroon vs. Ethiopia|
|Jan. 22||1 pm / 8 am||C||Tunisia vs. Nigeria|
|Jan. 22||4 pm / 11 am||C||Niger vs. Guinea|
|Jan. 23||1 pm / 8 am||D||Zimbabwe vs. Mali|
|Jan. 23||4 pm / 11 am||D||Uganda vs. Zambia|
|Jan. 24||1 pm / 8 am||A||Morocco vs. Rwanda|
|Jan. 24||4 pm / 11 am||A||Ivory Coast vs. Gabon|
|Jan. 25||1 pm / 8 am||B||Ethiopia vs. Angola|
|Jan. 25||4 pm / 11 am||B||Cameroon vs. Congo|
|Jan. 26||1 pm / 8 am||C||Guinea vs. Nigeria|
|Jan. 26||4 pm / 11am||C||Niger vs. Tunisia|
|Jan. 27||1 pm / 8 am||D||Zambia vs. Mali|
|Jan. 27||4 pm / 11 am||D||Uganda vs. Zimbabwe|
Rwanda's win was a tribute to the hosts' preparation for the tournament. It took a brilliantly struck free-kick from defender Emery Bayisenge to see off the Ivory Coast at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali.
The Amavubi were always in control in the capital. Despite the narrow win, the scoreline didn't reflect their comfort on the ball and the chances manager Johnny McKinstry's men created.
A win is a fitting way to start for the nation that has earned praise for its efforts putting on the tournament, according to Juliet Bawuah of AfricanNews.com.
As for the Ivory Coast, the failure to score was particularly disappointing, with dangerous attackers Koffi Bouah and Atcho Hemann Junior Djobo on the pitch. The Elephants came closest to scoring when Franck Guiza Djedje crashed an effort off the bar.
This team certainly has the talent to do better.
Gabon's draw with Morocco was a fairly bland affair. The Panthers failed to make a dent in the Moroccan defence and were frustrated throughout the game.
Looking ahead, Nigeria's first game should draw plenty of interest. Goal's Victor Tinto has dubbed the Super Eagles as one of the tournament favourites, identifying creative midfielder Bartholomew Ibenegbu and striker Ezekiel Bassey as potentially vital players.
Elsewhere in Group C, Tunisia are another fancied team to watch. The Eagles of Carthage have a rock-solid defence and ample firepower up front. Goal's Taiwo Taiwo believes Hosni Ahmed and free-scoring midfielder Bguir Saad "will be a major threat for the Nigerian defence when both teams meet on January 22."
For the moment, though, it's Rwanda who have set the early pace at this tournament.
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