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2023 AFCON U-17: Hosts Algeria get off to winning start against Somalia

The 2023 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations kicked off on Saturday with a victory for hosts Algeria, who defeated competition debutants Somalia by a 2-0 score at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers. Algeria captain Moslem Anatouf scored a goal in each half to confirm maximum points for the hosts who will face Senegal next on Tuesday in Group A. Somalia face the Republic of Congo and will attempt to earn their first ever point in the competition.

Algeria were heavy favorites against Somalia who displayed some encouraging moments but were generally overmatched. The hosts controlled play in the early stages and took advantage of a mistake from the Somalian defense to open the scoring in the 22nd minute when Anatouf intercepted a hasty back pass and went around goalkeeper Abdikadir Ali Mohamed to tap into an empty net.

Somalia did threaten the Algerian goal on a couple of occasions with Abdirahman Ahmed Abdalla’s audacious attempt from midfield in the 33rd minute tipped way by scrambling keeper Mastias Hammache. Hammache did excellently in the 61st minute to produce a kick save when Abdiasis Abdirahman Bahur was sent in alone on goal.

The victory was confirmed early in the second half by the Algerians who could have won by a greater margin. Mohamed did well to tip a shot wide in the 51st minute but was beaten moments later when a corner kick from Yanis Ferhat found Anatouf unmarked at the near post for the captain to volley in from close range.

Highlights of the opening match are below.

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