A poor pitch in Gabon got the better of the two sides who were unable to break the deadlock.
Mali and Egypt played out a 0-0 draw in their opening match at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Egypt were forced into an early change between the sticks when goalkeeper Ahmed El-Shenawi was forced off with a hamstring problem halfway through the first half. On in his place was 44-year-old Essam El Hadary, a three-time winner of the tournament who became the competition’s oldest player.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny started for Egypt and he had one of the best chances of the first half when he was fed in by former Chelsea man Mohammed Salah, but shot over the bar, moments after El Hadary’s introduction.
The game was low on quality during the first half, as the poor pitch prevented pretty, passing football, with Mali adapting to the conditions better.
The two sides fared little better after the break with few clear cut chances to write home about.
Egypt went close when Mahmoud Trezeguet crossed in to Marwan Mohsen, whose header was tipped over the bar by Oumar Sissoko after 53 minutes, while Mali had an opportunity to take the lead with nine minutes left, when Ousmane Coulibaly headed over from five yards out after Salif Coulibaly crossed the ball in.
The Pharaohs are looking for a record eighth AFCON crown, while Mali’s best performance in the competition was in 1972, when they lost 3-2 in the final to Congo-Brazzaville.
Earlier on Tuesday, an Andre Ayew penalty was enough to give Ghana a 1-0 win over Uganda in Group D’s first game.
Report by : Mirror sports