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Niger and Tanzania play to evenly matched draw

Tanzania and Niger each came out with a point from their opening 2023 AFCON qualifying Group F encounter following a 1-1 draw in Benin on Saturday. George Mpole opened the scoring in the first minute to give the Taifa Stars the lead before Daniel Sosah smashed in a leveler before the half hour mark for Niger. Tanzania are set for an important home meeting against Algeria next while Niger travel to Entebbe for a date with Uganda.

The designated visitors, Tanzania, got off to an electric start right off the kickoff when their first attack resulted in success. Simon Msuva unleashed a dipping shot from distance that gave Nigerien goalkeeper Naïm Van Attenhoven all sorts of trouble as he spilled the ball in front for Mpole to swoop in and finish the rebound.

Niger responded swiftly and began putting the pressure on the Taifa Stars with Ousmane Diabaté drawing a save from Tanzania keeper Aishi Manula with a headed shot on target in the 19th minute. A little over five minutes later the equalizer arrived for the hosts when a lofted ball found Youssef Oumarou, who headed the ball into the path of Sosah for a volley from eight yards out that left Manula with no chance.

After a rather uneventful stretch to finish the first half, Tanzania had opportunities to get the full three points on the road but failed to put a shot on target. Outside of a header that went far wide in the 54th minute it was a quiet match for Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta but substitute Denis Kibu should have finished in the 78th minute when he got behind the defense and around Van Attenhoven before sending his finish off the post from a tough angle. In the end the teams were forced to split the points, a result Tanzania will be more pleased with.

Highlights are below.

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