Tanzania, Angola with Day 1 COSAFA Castle Cup wins

Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

East Africa guest nation Tanzania claimed a first-ever victory at the COSAFA Castle Cup at the eighth attempt after breezing past Malawi at the 2017 instalment of the Southern African championship on Sunday.

Tanzania, who are appearing for a third time after previous visits in 1997 and 2015, profited from a fast start as Yahya Ramadhani scored twice in the opening 18 minutes to give them the win.

Malawi improved after the break, but never really looked like scoring in what is a disappointing start for Belgian coach Ronny van Geneugden with an inexperienced line-up after he was denied his top players, having failed to secure their release from their various South African clubs.

Ramadhani's first goal was a fine finish on the half-volley after the ball broke to him in the Malawi area, before he added to that with a low strike from 25 yards.

Tanzania head the log after the first round of matches on goal-difference from Angola, who beat Mauritius 1-0 in the later fixture.

Striker Augusto Quibeto lashed the Angolans in front inside four minutes and they comfortably saw out the game to confirm their status as dark horses under their new Brazilian coach Beto Bianchi, who has assembled a good squad of home-based players.

Quibeto collected the ball on the edge of the box and turned superbly to rifle the ball home with a sublime finish. Mauritius goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis ensured the score remained 1-0 with a brilliant save from a Nelson Da Luz header.

Group B will get under way at the same venue on Monday as Zimbabwe take on Mozambique in what is already looking like a tasty tie. The match kicks-off at 17:00 (15:00 GMT).

Zimbabwe have brought a strong squad to the tournament under coach Sunday Chidzambwa, with who they last lifted the trophy in 2009. And although Mozambique have rested many of their regulars, they are a country renowned for producing exciting players and will certainly be keen to get their tournament off to a positive start.

The later match in the pool sees Madagascar take on Seychelles as the latter look to end a barren run in the competition that has seen them claim just a single victory in their 19 previous matches. Madagascar look to have brought a strong squad as well and will hope to replicate their run to the semifinals in 2015. The second match gets under way at 19:30 (17:30 GMT).