Egypt off to winning start

BENGUELA, Angola - Holders Egypt, seeking an unprecedented third successive African Nations Cup title, made a convincing start by defeating Nigeria 3-1 on Tuesday.

Benin and Mozambique both failed in their bid to win a first-ever Nations Cup match when they played out a 2-2 draw in Tuesday's second Group C encounter.

Benin have their first-ever Nations Cup point but will be desperately unhappy with the way they allowed Mozambique back into the game after being 2-0 up in the first 20 minutes.

Egypt, who failed to qualify for the World Cup finals later this year after losing a play-off to Algeria, trailed to a fine 12th minute strike from Nigeria's Chinedu Obasi.

The striker cut inside the Egypt defence to score with a powerful shot after a pacy run.

But, inspired by their 35-year-old captain Ahmed Hassan, Egypt fought back to equalise through Emad Moteab and then went onto score two more goals in the second half.

Hassan made it 2-1 in the 54th minute with a wicked deflection off Taye Taiwo and substitute Mohamed Nagui made sure of the win three minutes from the end.

"We didn't think it would be easy but to our credit we never gave up when we conceded a goal and came back for a very good win," said Egyptian striker Mohamed Zidane.

A penalty from Razak Omotoyossi and an own goal from Mozambique defender Dario Khan in the first 21 minutes threatened an avalanche for Benin, whose six previous Nations Cup matches had all ended in defeat.

Mozambique, with a record of one draw and eight losses in their three previous tournament appearances, pulled a goal back in the 29th minute through Miro after Benin goalkeeper Yohan Djidonou missed a cross.

Quick thinking after Djidonou had strayed out of his penalty area to clear a ball into touch saw Mozambique snatch a 54th minute equaliser.

The throw in was swiftly taken by Genito and Goncalves Fumo had time to settle on the ball before sweeping it into the net as the goalkeeper scrambled back in vain.

Group D gets underway on Wednesday in Lubango when Cameroon take on Gabon and Tunisia meet Zambia.