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Libya opened their 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign on Wednesday by pipping Botswana 1-0 in the opening Group J match on Wednesday.

The Maghrebian side managed the slim win over the Zebras at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi despite not being flamboyant with their performance.

The Mediterranean Knights won the match thanks to a second-half effort by Saleh Al Taher who pounced to score after a fluffed penalty kick.

The home side was awarded the penalty in the 52nd minute following a foul by defender Mosha Gaolaolwe which led to the latter receiving a caution.

Libya captain Sanad Al Warfali elected himself to effect the spot kick but his effort was punched into play by goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko.

Al Taher pounced on the rebound to put the Mediterranean Knights ahead and spark hopes of a big victory for the home side.

But the visitors responded by creating a lot of scoring opportunities in the second half pinning the home side to their half.

Botswana tried to get the equaliser but Libya’s goalie Muad Allafi made five important stops to deny the southern African side.

The Mediterranean Knights held on to their advantage to ensure they began the qualification campaign on a bright note even though Botswana created some anxious moments for the home side.

Libya will lead Group J with the vital home win as Tunisia and Equatorial play in the other group game later on.

Source: CAF

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