Angola and Morocco failed to take advantage of the earlier draw between South Africa and Cape Verde as they also failed to register a goal in their Group A clash in Johannesburg.
Although the second match of the opening day of the 2013 African Cup of Nations produced a more entertaining affair with many chances, the draw means that all four sides are locked together on a point apiece.The game promised much in the opening quarter of an hour and it was Morocco who looked the more likely.
Angola had the first sight of goal, Mingo Bile’s shot from distance forcing Nadir Lamyaghri into a good save, stretching to touch it over the bar at the expense of a corner. Straight up the other end, Aston Villa’s Karim El Ahmadi also went for goal from distance and he too forced Angola keeper Lama into a good, sprawling save.
Moment later, Lama again needed to be at his best to keep the scores level, touching over a shot from Mounir El Hamdaoui. Morocco continued to fashion the better chances, Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi enjoying plenty of space on the left wing. He cut inside two defenders before blasting over from a narrow angle when he ought to have made Lama work again.
Much talk before the game focused on what impact former Manchester United striker Manucho would have on the game but he often found himself isolated and frustrated. And the Valladolid striker’s frustration got the better of him when he wildly lashed out at Adil Hermach shortly after the half hour mark. It warranted a yellow card from referee Badara Diatta but it could just as easily have been red.
If Morocco had the better of the opening half, it was all Angola at the start of the second. Shortly after the restart, Angola missed a golden opportunity to take the lead after Lamyaghri made a right hash of catching Bastos’s seemingly innocuous cross. The ball landed at the feet of substitute Guilherme Afonso and his snap shot drifted just wide of an empty net.
Despite Angola’s dominance in possession, Morocco had their chances on the break. El Hamdaoui did well to turn his marker in the box but shot over the bar after doing the hard work. And Younes Belhanda was also guilty of not making the keeper work, dragging his shot wide after beating two defenders inside the box.
Still Angola looked the more likely , Manucho holding his head after firing wide from Lamyaghri’s punched clearance.
And he really should have sent his side to the top of the Group A standings with just three minutes on the clock remaining with the best chance of the match. Mateus ended a buccaneering run down the right flank with a perfect cross and Manucho threw himself at the ball but his header flew wide of the far post when it looked easier to score.