As the build up and anticipation to the 2019 Houston African Nations Cup reached a fever-pitch on Sunday 31st March, the games kicked off with much fanfare and excitement. Walking through the park, it was amazing to see various nationalities from Africa come together to participate in the most loved sport in the Continent.
The countries represented in this edition are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’voire, D.R Congo, Equitorial Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania. Their very presence drew fans and spectators from all over the city to watch the Houston version of the most popular Tournament in Africa.
After the socializing and pre-game warmups, the games kicked off with much gusto. The match-ups had been drawn by representative Captains/Coaches during the prior week and every team showed up with their best performances. The first set of games were highly entertaining and keenly contested match ups between Senegal/Cote d’voire and Eq. Guinea/Tanzania. The scoreline ended in a 3-2 win for Senegal while Eq. Guinea and Tanzania both settled for a 1-1 draw.
The second set of games between Cullen FC (Nigeria) and Burkina Faso was an 8-goal thriller – with Cullen FC winning with a 5-3 scoreline. Cameroon, who historically have a reputation of winning this Tournament, got off to a strong start by defeating D.R Congo 1-0.
The next set of group games scheduled on 7th April @ 5pm are definitely billed to be entertaining, as all teams will be looking to progress to the knockout phase.