A goal each from Elmutasem Abushnaf and Abdel Salam Omar was enough for Libya to outsmart Ethiopia 2-0 in their African Nations Championship Group C encounter in Bloemfontein.
It was a debut for Ethiopia in the CHAN event while Libya returned to the competition for the second time since the very first event in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire where they failed to make it out of the group stage.
Libya started the better side and took an early lead when Elmutasem Abushnaf ran into the danger area and unleashed a powerful strike that flew past Jemal Bushra in goal.
After the early goal Libya continued to add pressure and created several chances, which showed the Ethiopian defence to be quite shaky at times.
In the 27th minute Ethiopia went close to a leveller as Demessie turned and volleyed from a very tight angle and could not keep his shot down or get it on target.
Ethiopia tried to force a comeback towards the end of the half, but Libya nearly scored a second in the 40th minute when Fetori’s free kick was fumbled and then gathered by the Ethiopian goalkeeper.
In the 58th minute Ethiopia wasted a glorious chance to equalise as Manyane Abera burst towards goal, but only managed to his sky his effort over the bar.
Then in the 83rd minute substitute Omar got a second for Libya when he outwitted his marker before placing the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
A goal form Theophilus Anobaah helped Ghana to a slender 1-0 won over Congo their Group C encounter at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Monday evening.
Both side’s started with youthful strikers with 18-year old Sulley Mohammed starting up front for the Black Stars and 17-year old Red Devil starlet Bersyl Ngatsongo Obassi spearheading Congo’s attack.
From the onset it seemed as if the small crowd were in for an exciting encounter as both teams pushed forward in search of the opener.
Ngatsongo’s beaming effort in the fourth minute went narrowly wide of Stephen Adams right hand post.
Yahaya Mohammed and Nuru Sulley then went close for the Black Stars in quick succession.
First Congo shot stopper Gildas Mouyaki made a good stop to keep out Mohammed’s powerful effort before Sulley’s scuffed shot from close range bounced just wide of the upright.
Ghana broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through Theophilus Anobaah in fortunate circumstances.
The midfielders tame effort hit into Congo captain Kevine Andzouana before bouncing back of him and looping over the helpless Mouyaki, 1-0.
The Red Devils pressed forward in search of the equaliser before the break and came very close to doing so in quick succession.
First Lorry Nkolo struck the post from point plank range before Boris Ngounga failed to hit the target with an open goal at his mercy.
Ghana 1-0 leaders at the break. In contrast to the first stanza, the second half got off to sluggish start with both teams surrendering possession frequently.
When there was an attempt at goal it was weak or horrible miscued. Congo desperately went in search of the equaliser in the dying moments but were unable to break down an organized Ghanaian outfit.