The young pharaohs of Egypt jealously preserved the tournament's history of host nations not losing the opener by recording a hard fought one nil victory over Mali at the Cairo International Stadium.
Egypt who are the home side started the game on a good note taking the initiative and pressing for the opener but a stubborn Mali rearguard will not let them in until striker Mostafa Moahamed broke the resistance of the Malians and penetrated their goal area with a nice goal in the 29th minute of the game.
It wasn't smooth sailing for the home side despite the numerous supporters cheering their team to victory as midfielder Nasser Maher was forced of the pitch with a shoulder injury.
The Egyptians had numerous chances to have doubled their lead but they fluffed their lines as the two countries went into the half time break with Egypt with a one nil lead.
Mali came close to grabbing the all important equalizer but Egypt’s goalkeeper Mohamed Sobhy saved Ali Malle’s header but Ibrahima Kone was on hand to tap home but could only shave the post with a shot and that was the equalizer gone.