Match day 2 saw two teams who had encountered different fortunes in their opening group game. Sudan lost by a solitary goal to the Ivory Coast and Angola beat Burkina Faso 2-1. The game was finally poised as both teams wanted to press on in the group.
Opening exchanges were fairly predictable, both teams happy to play it around and get a touch of the ball. Five minutes in though and Manucho was quick to nick the ball off a Sudan defender. He pressed forward into the box to bury the ball into the bottom corner of the net. A well taken finish and the game had been blown wide open very early on, Angola were in the driving seat.
It was Sudan that responded better to the goal and began to create a few chances which threatened the Angolan goal. Sudan were searching for their first goal in this competition since 1976 so many fans weren’t extremely optimistic. It was Sudan who got the goal through Mohamed Ahmed Bashir. He headed the ball beyond the reach of the Angolan keeper to level the game and tell Angola they weren’t winning this game easily. The goal came about through some very poor defending from Angola which they will look back at and be extremely disappointed. At this point it was game on!
After the teams re-emerged from half time both teams had the sense they could win the game. In a largely-deserted stadium, Angola’s fans were the next to celebrate after they were awarded a penalty thanks to a rash challenge from Hamid Nazar. Up stepped Manucho to coolly slot the ball into the bottom corner despite the keeper guessing the right way. Sudan now needed to score again to keep them in the final and they did manage to create yet more goal scoring opportunities.
Sudan found their way back into game once again through slack Angolan defending. A hopeful punt forward was chested to Bashir who coolly took his opportunity. That was Bashir’s second of the game and he produced an excellent performance. Angola may have nicked the game at the end as Manucho spotted Akram of his line but his effort was over the crossbar.
Both teams are still in with a shout of the quarter finals but Angola only have themselves to blame after the draw. They were far too slack after the bright start and Sudan thoroughly deserved the draw in the end. Angola’s final group game is against the Ivory Coast on Monday. Sudan will face Burkina Faso in their final group game.