Hosts Mauritania secured their maiden victory in the Total Africa U-20 Cup of Nations after beating Mozambique 2-0 in Nouakchott to revive their hopes of qualifying for the quarter finals.
The Mourabitounes came into Wednesday's match on the back of a narrow defeat to Cameroon in the opening match of the tournament. Two stunning goals from Oumar Mbareck and Silly Sangare won the match for hosts against the spirited Mozambicans.
But it was the Mozambicans who started brightly with their swift play causing some panic in the Mauritanian defence early on. Ivan Mario rouse highest to head over the Mauritania goal when he was unmarked around the penalty spot.
The hosts stunned Mozambique after 19 minutes, when start man Mbareck fired his free kick past the keeper to give Mauritania the lead and, inked his name in the history books as the player to score his country's maiden goal at the tournament.
The diminutive Mbareck almost assisted a second goal for the confident Mourabitounes two minutes after his goal, the playmaker floated in a cross to the back post for captain Mohamed El Abd Ahmed who missed the target with the gaol at his mercy.
Celton Jenito Jamisse missed a sitter for Mozambique, the skipper failed to make good contact with the ball from a corner inside the area.
Mauritania increased their advantage with Mbareck playing his part in it, the skilful attacker danced his way through two Mozambican defenders to play in Chighaly, the forward missed his footing but Silly Sangare was there pick the top corner to make it 2-0 before half-time.
The second half saw the two sides containing each other but neither took advantage of their chances. Dias Fumo headed over the Mauritania goal ten minutes after the break.
Mbareck and Kamara combined but the latter's effort failed to trouble the keeper. Oumar came close to making it 3-0 when he picked up a misplaced pass by the keeper, the winger raced through on goal before firing off target.
The victory sends Mauritania joint second with Uganda who lost to Cameroon in the earlier game at the Stade Olympic in Nouakchott.
What they said:
Man of the match Mauritania defender Demba Yatera
I am really happy to be named man of the match but I want to congratulate the entire team. I may have been named the best of the match but today this is a result of the work of the entire team.
I am pleased that we won today. We lost against Cameroon but we ensured we bounced back and won today. This is a great step for us in the competition.
Mauritania coach Mauril Njoya
I would like to congratulate all my players for this victory today and also to Mozambique because they showed a good match today.
For us, when we were here before the game, we promised that we will give all we can to win the match and it happened today. The difference from the first match against Cameroon was just in some few details and I think we have shown that we have some young talent in our team that we can be proud of.
We are happy with the win but the work is not yet done, we still have one match to play to ensure qualification.
Mozambique coach Dario Monteiro
We didn't start very well against Uganda, but today I am proud of my players. We committed two mistakes, that Mauritania used to score their goals. I am proud of what my players did today. They showed they can play at this level.
I am not happy with the result but I am happy with the fight the players showed today.