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Surprise victories mark opening days of Africa Cup of Nations

Namibia’s winger, Deon Hotto, secured a stunning 1-0 victory over Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations on Tuesday, continuing the trend of surprising results in the tournament. Hotto’s 88th-minute goal handed the underdog Namibia a well-deserved win in the Group E encounter. Namibia ranked 87 places below Tunisia globally, displayed superior creativity and missed opportunities, securing their first-ever Cup of Nations finals victory.

Namibia coach Collin Benjamin expressed his excitement, stating, “This is a massive achievement for us, nobody gave us a chance. This is for a country that really needs a lift. We are not in a position to talk big before the match when everybody calls us ‘underdogs.’ We can only do our talking on the pitch.”

Tunisia, the top seeds in the group, struggled through the game, with goalkeeper Bechir Ben Said making crucial stops. Despite being the third-highest-ranked African side globally, Tunisia failed to dominate as expected, joining other former winners like Ghana in losing their opening match.

In another match, Burkina Faso secured a historic 1-0 victory over Mauritania in Group D, marking their first-ever win in the opening match of the African showpiece finals. Bertrand Traore scored a stoppage-time penalty, earning Burkina Faso three points after 13 attempts. Burkina Faso dominated possession, but Mauritania created better chances, denied only by goalkeeper Herve Koffi’s exceptional reflexes.


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