Copa America has kicked off this week for Brazil, while Mohamed Salah and Egypt finished their final friendly before the African Cup of Nations kicks off next weekend. Both teams came out victorious in their matches.
Friday, both Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker started in Brazil’s 3-0 defeat of Bolivia in their first Copa America group stage match to kick off the tournament in Sao Paulo. The game remained goalless in the first half, eliciting boos from the merciless Brazilian crowd at the whistle. The second half brought more joy for the hosts as former Red Philippe Coutinho scored a brace early on, and then Everton finished off the Bolivians with the third goal in the 85th minute.
Alisson Becker kept a clean sheet in goal, a feeling he’s likely pretty used to at this point. Firmino started up front for Brazil, but was substituted after 65 minutes for Gabriel Jesus.
Brazil’s next game is on Tuesday night against Venezuela.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Mohamed Salah racked up two assists as Egypt beat a Naby Keïta-less Guinea by three goals to one during a friendly on Sunday evening. This concludes both country’s AFCoN preparations, and the tournament starts properly this weekend.
Sadio Mané might have featured in Senegal’s closed door victory against Nigeria on Sunday, but the line-ups and details were kept private so as to not leak the teams’ strategies going into the tournament.
Salah will lead the Pharoahs out against Zimbabwe in front of a home crowd in Cairo on Friday, June 21st to kick off the tournament and group A action.
Keïta may or may not be 100% fit, but he’s still traveled with Guinea to Alexandria and was named in Paul Put’s 23-man squad set to tackle group B. Their first match is on Saturday, June 22nd against Madagascar.
Mané, on the other hand, is set to miss Senegal’s opening match on Sunday, June 23rd against Tanzania in group C due to a yellow card suspension, but will resume his duties after that.