Two-time African champions Ivory Coast were held to a goalless draw in Mozambique as both sides kicked off their Group D campaign of 2022 World Cup qualifying.
Chances were few and far between in the Mozambican capital Maputo as the visitors struggled to break down a resolute home side, who fashioned little at the other end.
In neighbouring Zimbabwe, 1996 African champions South Africa were also frustrated and had to settle for a scoreless stalemate in their Group G opener.
Bafana Bafana, who went closest through a Teboho Mokoena strike from distance, failed to take advantage of the fact that Zimbabwe were missing various players.
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The game was the first in charge for new South Africa coach Hugo Broos who is trying to lead his side to a first World Cup since 2002.
While admitting that reaching Qatar may prove a step too far, Broos will hope South Africa can create more when 2010 World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana return to Johannesburg on Monday.
The Black Stars host Ethiopia in Cape Coast on Friday evening as they seek to return to the finals after previous appearances in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Meanwhile, an Ivory Coast side looking to reach a fourth World Cup host Cameroon on Monday evening in one of the ties of the opening rounds.
Only the winners of Africa's ten qualifying groups qualify for the play-offs next March, when the continent's five finalists for next year's World Cup will be known.