Andre Ayew scored the only goal as Ghana defeated Uganda 1-0 ©Getty Images

Ghana claimed a hard earned 1-0 win over Uganda at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations today.

The Black Stars, led by former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, were made to work for all three points in what proved a difficult opening Group C fixture.

West Ham United's Andre Ayew scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot after 32 minutes at Stade de Port-Gentil.

Ghanaian captain Asamoah Gyan was pulled back in the box, leaving the referee no chance but to award the penalty which Ayew comfortably dispatched.

The spot-kick gave Ayew his seventh Africa Cup of Nations goal, taking him past the total scored by his father and legendary former Ghana captain, Abedi Pele.

Uganda, who are playing at their first Nations Cup since 1978 when they lost in the final to Ghana, tried their best to make it a happy return in the second period but failed to convert any of their chances.

Faruku Miya hit the outside of a post for the Ugandans but they could not force their way back into the game.

One negative to come from the match for Ghana was the injury to full back Baba Rahman, who was withdrawn after 39 minutes with a suspected hamstring issue.

Egypt and Mali could not be separated in this evening's match ©Getty Images
Egypt and Mali could not be separated in this evening's match ©Getty Images

Seven times champions Egypt, the most successful team in the tournament's history, opened their campaign against Mali tonight with a 0-0 draw.

Mali were the better side for long periods of the match and be left frustrated they did not take all three points.

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament at 44 as he came on in the first half after an injury to Ahmed El-Shenawy, who collided with the post following a cross.

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny wasted two first-half chances for Egypt while possibly the best chance fell to Osmane Coulibaly, who headed over from close range for Mali in the latter stages..

The second round of group stage fixtures are set to begin tomorrow with the resumption of Group A.

Hosts Gabon will look to avenge their disappointing opening draw to Guinea-Bissau when they go up against Burkina Faso.

Cameroon meet Guinea-Bissau in the other match.

Both games are due to take place at the Stade d'Angondjé in Libreville.