Libya and Zambia were made to work hard to take a point apiece from today's rain-affected African Nations Cup Group A encounter in Bata.

In a match contested on heavily waterlogged pitch after earlier rain put the fixture in doubt, Libya twice went ahead through Ahmed Saad but Zambia secured a share of the spoils thanks to goals by Emmanuel Mayuka and Christopher Katongo.

The result leaves Zambia on four points following their victory over Senegal in their opening match, while Libya are off the mark after losing their first fixture 1-0 against co-hosts Equatorial Guinea.

The match got under way 75 minutes late after a heavy downpour arrived shortly before the scheduled kick-off time.

The rain left the pitch at the Estadio de Bata severely waterlogged and caused flooding in the players' tunnel, but after the weather abated during the delay the match was given the green light.

The decision was nevertheless a risky one, with the surface in danger of cutting up ahead of the day's second Group A match between Equatorial Guinea and Senegal at the same stadium.

The early exchanges indicated that the match was in danger of descending into chaos, the ball holding up in the many puddles dotted around the playing surface. One zone in particular - just in front of the penalty area defended by Libya in the first half - was heavily sodden and the players did well to put on any kind of a show in the opening period.

Certainly the two goals that graced the first 45 minutes were worthy of far better conditions.

Libya's opener after five minutes was a fine effort. Walid El Khatroushi's through ball was perfectly weighted despite the conditions and Saad showed good composure to open his body and curl a right-footed effort around the goalkeeper.

Zambia's equaliser after 29 minutes was similarly easy on the eye, Rainford Kalaba lofting the ball invitingly into the area for Mayuka, who watched the ball over his left shoulder before connecting smartly on the volley to register his second goal of the tournament.

Two minutes into the second period Libya restored their lead through Saad.

El Khatroushi's cross into the middle was missed by two Zambian defenders, and when the ball fell to Saad the striker took two touches to set himself before firing in confidently off the upright.

But again Libya failed to hold on to their lead as Zambia hit back in style. This time it was the athleticism of Isaac Chansa that set up the opening as his overhead kick fell perfectly for Christopher Katongo, who headed in at the far post.

Christopher Katongo might have won it for Zambia late on when substitute Felix Katongo made inroads down the right before crossing for his namesake, but the ball was slightly behind the Zambia captain and the last clear-cut chance of the match went begging.