U23 Afcon: Ghana coach Tanko and Cameroon boss Song take positives from opening draw

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Habib Mohammed of Ghana during the 2019 WAFU Nations Cup match between Ghana v Gambia at the Stade Lat Dior, Thies on the 31 September 2019
The two trainers reflect on the outcome of their first match at the continental showpiece 

Ghana coach Ibrahim Tanko has praised his team's fighting spirit following their comeback to hold Cameroon to a deadlock in their opening game of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt on Friday.

After a barren first half, Bayern Munich attacker Franck Evina netted in the 59th minute to give the Indomitable Lions the lead but Asante Kotoko centre-back Habib Mohammed scored three minutes to full-time to force a stalemate in the Group A fixture at Cairo International Stadium.

It was the first-ever match of the two debuting teams at the continental championship.

"I take this as a good result," Tanko said in the post-match press conference, as reported by Cafonline.com.

"We trailed but my players showed character to return to the game.

"Our next match will be even more difficult because we are facing the hosts, Egypt.

"But we will do our best to get a positive result."

The result has left both teams tied on one point apiece in Group A.

Hosts Egypt lead the table following a 1-0 triumph over Mali.

"I’m satisfied with my players’ performances," Cameroon coach Rigobert Song remarked.

"We are missing four key players and in the coming game at least two of them will join us.

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"My players lost concentration for a minute so we conceded a late equaliser."

Ghana next face the hosts on Monday as Cameroon play Mali.

The top three teams at the end of the tournament will also be rewarded with tickets to represent Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in Japan.