Cote d’ Ivoire, Egypt Shine In Friendlies

Côte d’Ivoire began life as African champions with a 2-0 home victory over Angola Thursday in an international football friendly match. Turkey-based defender Ousmane Viera Diarrassouba, who did not feature in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations decider, opened the scoring midway through the first half.

And any hopes the Angolan Black Antelopes had of salvaging a draw disappeared minutes before time when substitute Salomon Kalou from German outfit Hertha Berlin converted a penalty.

Egypt scored twice in the final five minutes to secure a 2-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea in Cairo and give Argentine coach Hector Cuper a winning start. Zamalek striker Bassem Morsi broke the deadlock on 86 minutes.

Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan doubled the lead in the final minute for the Pharaohs, who are hoping to become an African football power again after failing to qualify for the last three Cup of Nations competitions.

Algeria lost their first game since their disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign, going down tamely 1-0 to Qatar in a friendly in Doha. A superb 32nd minute goal from Ali Assadalla proved the difference between the two sides.

The midfielder picked up the ball 35 yards from goal, before embarking on a jinking run, beating several Algerian players before calmly finishing in the game’s stand out individual moment.

Elsewhere, Oman and Colombia beat Malaysia and Bahrain respectively both by the same, and impressive, 6-0 scoreline. Iran beat Chile 2-0 with goals coming on either side of half-time.

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