Asamoah Gyan struck a last-gasp winner as Ghana earned a dramatic 1-0 victory over Africa Cup of Nations favourites Algeria in Mongomo.
In what was a fairly tepid contest, Gyan returned from a minor bout of malaria to provide the only real moment of quality in the 90th minute to give his side a much needed victory.
Just as the match veered towards an inevitable draw, the 29-year-old collected a long ball from Mubarak Wakaso before his scuffed shot found the bottom corner as The Black Stars recorded their first win of the competition.
Ghana manager Avram Grant admitted playing his captain was a risk but his decision paid dividends in the end.
"Asamoah Gyan was not fit - he didn't train like he needed to - but he's Asamoah Gyan, if you look at the stats and his behaviour in the dressing room," Grant said.
"I have coached some of the great players - and he's one of the greatest.
"First - he always scores when you need him, and he's good for the spirit of the team; he's a very good captain."
In the other match in Group C, Senegal came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with South Africa - the seventh stalemate in the tournament so far.
After a drab first-half, South Africa's Oupa Manyisa opened the scoring just 62 seconds after the restart as he converted a teasing cross from right back Anele Ngcongca.
But Senegal, who themselves struck a late winner to beat Ghana in their opening match, fought back and equalised on the hour mark when Kara Mbodji met Papa Diop's free-kick from deep to salvage a point for his side.
Both sides then pressed for a second but the contest petered out to a draw - a result that leaves Senegal in pole position in Group C.
Despite recent reports of clashes between police and fans following delayed entry to stadiums caused by the authorities testing supporters for ebola and also claims from several coaches that the facilities are inadequate, Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard has praised Equatorial Guinea's hosting of the tournament.
"We are in magnificent surroundings," he said.
"The stadium here in Malabo is lovely and the atmosphere was very, very good in the first match.
"I hope that it continues and for the moment I think it's a great success."
The competition continues tomorrow when Renard's side entertain Mali, and in the other match Cameroon face Guinea.
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