1 – The first day of the tournament climaxed with a simple but spectacular opening ceremony at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday. In attendance was Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, President of the Organising Committee for Youth Competitions Ahmad Yahya and CAF General Secretary Mouad Hajji, amongst others, for the opening match which drew a crowd of over 35,000 spectators.
2 – Rwandan match official Salma Mukansanga is the first-ever female referee to officiate at the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations and was at the helm of the Group B match between South Africa and Zambia on Saturday at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo. She was joined by a female assistant referee, Fatiha Jermoumi from Morocco, and male match officials Dick Okello from Uganda and Gabonese Pierre Atcho.
Following the match CAF President Ahmad, accompanied by President of the Djibouti FA and Chairman of CAF’s Refereeing Committee Souleiman Hassan Waberi and President of the Mauritanian FA and CAF Organising Committee for Youth Competitions Ahmad Yahya paid a visit to the match officials to compliment them on their performance. Speaking to the refereeing group CAF President Ahmad said:
“Tonight we saw great team work amoung our match officials and I congratulate all four of you on your strong performance today on the pitch. Keep up the good work! “
4 – Four goals were recorded in the opening four games of the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019. Mostafa Mohamed (Egypt), Franck Evina (Cameroon), Habib Mohamed (Ghana) and Silas Gnaka (Cote d'Ivoire) scored the Day one goals.
6 – Nigeria defender No. 6 Olisa Harold was the first player to be sent off in the competition. He was sent off in the 70th minute of the Group B opener against Cote d’Ivoire which the latter won by a lone goal.
11 – Egyptian number 11 Mostafa Mohamed scored the first goal of the competition. He scored on the half-hour mark in the 1-0 win over Mali in the tournament opener.
Total Man of the Match
Egypt 1-0 Mali: Mostafa Mohamed (Egypt)
Cameoon 1-1 Ghana: Evans Mensah (Ghana)
Nigeria 0-1 Cote d’Ivoire: Koffi Edgard Dakoi (Cote d’Ivoire)
South Africa 0-0 Zambia: Kamohelo Mahlatsi (South Africa)