The 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is finally here! The premium continental showpiece opened in Cairo, Egypt on Friday night with utmost fanfare.
The opening match saw the hosts edge out stubborn Zimbabwe Warriors 1-0 before a fully packed Cairo International Stadium. Mohamoud Trezeguet scored the lone goal in the 41st minute to send the stadium into a frenzy.
Two hours before the big kick-off, Egypt staged one of the most spectacular opening ceremonies in the history of the biennial tournament, which was being held in summer for the very first time.
The organizers pulled all stops to ensure they delivered to Africa and the world a memorable event. In the end fireworks decorated Cairo skies signaling the beginning of the month long championship, which for the first time will have 24 teams.
Earlier in the day, fans painted the streets red and black, the official colors of Egypt, as they made their way into the 75,000 capacity stadium.
Security was top notch with regular police, special forces and military manning almost every corner of the city and guiding everyone who needed any help.
Kenya’s Harambee Stars will play their opening Group C match against Algeria on Sunday. The Harambee Stars are making a return to the tournament in 15 years.