AFRICAN NATIONS CUP

Estadio dos Coqueiros

Attendance: 45000

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Angola

  • Amado Flavio 36'
  • Amado Flavio 42'
  • Sebastiao Felisberto Graca Amaral Gilberto 67' PEN
  • Manucho 74' PEN

4 - 4

FT

Mali

  • Seydou Keita 79'
  • Frederic Kanouté 88'
  • Seydou Keita 90' +3'
  • Mustapha Yatabare 90' +4'

Angola 4-4 Mali: Hosts stunned by fightback

Mustapha Yatabare slid in a dramatic equaliser deep into stoppage time to help

Mali complete an astonishing comeback in the opening match of the African

Nations Cup against hosts Angola in Luanda.

• Keita amazed by draw

Trailing 4-0 and seemingly playing for pride after a brace from Flavio Amado

and penalties from Gilberto and Manucho had put the home side in front with just

11 minutes remaining, Seydou Keita gave the Eagles hope when he scrambled the

ball home from a Carlos Fernandes error.

But Frederic Kanoute glanced home a fine header to halve the deficit in the

87th minute, before a second from Keita in time added on and Yatabare's effort

completed a sensational turnaround which stunned the home fans at the Estadio 11

de Novembro.

It all looked so different moments earlier after the Black Antelopes had raced

ahead to help lift a sombre mood on day one of the competition which has been

marred by an attack on the Togo team which left three people dead.

Manuel Jose's men began sprightly with Flavio firing the first shot on goal

from 25 yards out.

The Eagles, who looked nervous throughout the opening half, slowly began to

improve and their first real sniff of goal came after 20 minutes, but Modibo

Maiga squandered the chance when his back-heeled pass on the edge of the penalty

area failed to find any team-mate.

The Angolans were forced into an early change three minutes later when Dede had

to go off with what looked like an ankle injury.

His replacement Djalma Campos had the best opening of the two sides just after

the half-hour mark when Mabina's pinpoint cross from the right was met with a

powerful header at the near post, which was unfortunately straight at Mahamadou

Sidibe.

But the host did not have much longer to wait for the opening, which came in

the 37th minute.

It came when the visitors needlessly brought down Manucho just outside the

penalty area on the left.

Gilberto cleverly sought out Flavio with the ensuing free-kick instead of going

for goal and his cross was powerfully met by the Al-Shabab striker to leave

Sidibe stranded.

The Malians were rocked and it was 2-0 five minutes later - Mabina finding an

unmarked Flavio with his cross from the right and the ball was again

impressively headed in to hand the hosts a 2-0 half-time lead.

The Eagles began promisingly after the break and should have equalised when a

cross from the right found Mahamadou Diarra unmarked at the back post, but he

took his time, giving goalkeeper Carlos Fernandes time to make an acrobatic save

that helped avert the danger.

Minutes later Kanoute had a first shot on goal, but he skewed his shot wildly

over as Mali searched for a lifeline.

But their constant pressure came to nothing, with Angola going 3-0 up in the

67th minute after a fine counter-attack led to Mamadou Bagayoko bringing down

Gilberto in the penalty area.

The Al-Ahly midfielder stood up to take the spot-kick himself - scoring with

both attempts after he was asked to retake his first one due to players entering

the box too early.

Seven minutes later Keita bizarrely conceded another penalty when Gilberto was

for the second time hauled back in the area.

This time Manucho stepped forward to send Sidibe the wrong way. There was still

time for Mali to attempt a comeback and they were gifted a goal 11 minutes from

the end when Fernandes spilt a poor corner and Keita bundled the ball in.

Kanoute halved the deficit with a powerfully glanced header with three minutes

left and when the fourth official signalled four additional minutes it seemed to

deflate the hosts.

They took their foot of the pedal and Keita's angled finish was followed by

Yatabare's 94th minute goal - after Fernandes could only parry into his path -

to hand Stephen Keshi's side a share of the spoils.

  • Keita amazed by draw

    Mali midfielder Seydou Keita believes the physchological boost from their

    remarkable comeback against Angola will stand them in good stead for the rest of

    the African Nations Cup.

    Barcelona midfielder Keita, who surprisingly started on the bench before

    entering the fray 35 minutes in, told Eurosport: ''There was a lot of pressure

    on us. I condeded a penalty and they kept scoring.

    ''I just couldn't imagine we could fight back like that. We wanted to win but of course we are happy to get a point in the end. We were bad in the first half, mentally we weren't really at the races.

    ''It didn't look like we would get anything but luckily we managed to get a

    point and we are happy. It's good for us mentally, our confidence, but we have to be careful to not

    make too many mistakes. There is a lot to correct before the next match.''

  • Scoring Summary

    • Angola
    • Mali

    Match Stats

    • Angola
    • Mali
    0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
    0 Fouls 0
    0 Corner kicks 0
    0 Offsides 0
    0% Time of Possession 0%
    2 Yellow Cards 4
    0 Red Cards 0
    0 Saves 0

    Teams

    • Angola
    • Mali
    Substitutes
    Substitutions
    Yellow Cards
    Rosa Stelvio Cruz (45')
    Xara (61')