Egypt started their U23 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday evening with a 1-0 win over Mali in Cairo in the opening game of a tournament.

Moustafa Mohamed’s first half header gave Egypt the maximum points promising a good run in the tournament.

Salah Mohsen had the first chance of the game in the 7th minute, heading a cross from Ramadan Sobhi’s cross but it was easily dealt with by the Mali goalkeeper Koita.

Egypt were forced to make an early substitution in the 16th as injured Nasser Maher was brought for Amar Hamdy.

Moustapha Mohamed broke the deadlock of the game for Egypt in the 29th minute, heading home a cross by Fatouh to give his side the lead.

Despite creating a lot of chances, no goal was scored again in the first half.

Mali came back from recess looking threatning, Mohamed Sobhi provided a double save to deny the Ibrahima Kone’s double effort of equalizing for the West Africans.

Mali kept pushing for the equalizer but the Egyptian defense were equally up to the task.

Traore came close again in the 77th minute, but Mohammed Sobhi did excellently to deny him again.

Despite a late pressure from the Mali, Egypt held on to win the game.