2015 Nations Cup: Wins for Senegal, South Africa and Guinea
The 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists Senegal defeated seven-time African champions Egypt 2-0 at home in their opening Group G qualifier for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mame Biram Diouf set Senegal on their way to the impressive victory with Sadio Mane scoring Senegal's second.
There were also victories for Guinea and South Africa in Friday's qualifying group matches.
Guinea beat Togo 2-1, with South Africa winning 3-0 in Sudan.
The remainder of the first round of qualifying matches across seven groups will played on Saturday.
Friday's 2015 qualifiers
- Sudan 0-3 South Africa
- Guinea 2-1 Togo (in Casablanca)
- Senegal 2-0 Egypt
Senegal's pacey forward Diouf opened the scoring for Senegal against Egypt in Dakar when he ran onto a superb through-ball from team-mate Dame Ndoye and squeezed it past goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy in the 17th minute.
The goal capped a superb week for the Stoke City forward after he netted a brilliant individual effort in the English Premier League against Manchester City last Saturday.
Sadio Mane, who joined Southampton last week, netted the second in almost identical fashion in stoppage time at the end of the first half, as Ndoye played an even better defence-splitting pass.
Egypt, who have won seven African Nations Cup titles, but failed to qualify for the last two tournaments, looked to Mohamed Salah for inspiration but he missed a series of half-chances in the second half.
It was a first full international at home for Senegal since 2012 when violence brought a premature end to their 2014 World Cup play-off tie against Ivory Coast. A one-year ban on the Leopold Sedar Senghor stadium followed and since the ban ended only the locally-based Africa Nations Championship side have played in Dakar.
Elsewhere, South Africa began their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win in Sudan in a Group A encounter.
Two strikes early in the second half by substitute Sibusiso Vilakazi (pictured) and a goal on debut by Bongani Ndulula guided South Africa to their first win in six games.
Bafana Bafana survived a torrid first half in which the Sudanese missed some good chances and Balla Jabir forced goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa into a great save.
Vilakazi's rapid strikes in the 56th and 61st minutes killed off the home side's hopes.
In the 56th minute Vilakazi stabbed home from close range for his first international goal, five minutes later he fired a scorcher past goalkeeper Moez Mahjoub.
His shot came from just inside the penalty area to give Bafana Bafana a comfortable 2-0 cushion.
Debutant Bongani Ndulula netted the visitors' third when he tapped in Oupa Manyisa's cross at the far post to launch Shakes Mashaba's tenure to a winning start.
But while the coach may be satisfied with picking up three valuable points, there will be concerns about the team's defence whose mistakes may not go unpunished by stronger opposition.
Next up for South Africa are the African champions Nigeria on Wednesday, however the Super Eagles are under the threat of a global ban from football.
Also on Friday, Guinea beat Togo 2-1 in Casablanca, having been ordered to play at a neutral venue because of fears over the Ebola virus.
Guinea's Seydouba Soumah scored early and Idrissa Sylla doubled the lead just after halftime, before Togo pulled one back trough Jonathan Ayite in Group E.
Togo were boosted by the return to international duty of striker Emmanuel Adebayor after an 18-month absence, but despite his presence, the visitors could not conjure up an equaliser.
The top two sides from each of the seven groups and the best third-placed side will advance to join hosts Morocco in January's finals.