AFCON

Sudan end goal drought

2012-01-26 20:20
Sudan v Angola (AP)

Malabo - Sudan ended a 36-year Africa Cup of Nations goal drought as they came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Angola on Thursday in a Group B match.

Former Manchester United striker Manucho scored five minutes into each half for the Black Antelopes and Mohamed Bashir twice levelled for the Jediane Falcons at a sparsely populated Estadio Nuevo de Malabo.

The result opens the door for title co-favourites Ivory Coast to reach the quarter-finals if they defeat neighbours Burkina Faso in the second half of a double-header.

Angola came into the game anxious to silence critics like Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte, who accused his conquerors of being a route-one team fond of time wasting.

Coach Mohamed Abdalla sprang a surprise by ditching long-time Sudan first choice goalkeeper Almoiz Mahgoub and promoting Akram while fit-again Mohamed Tahir returned in the other change from a team narrowly beaten by Ivory Coast.

Akram did not have a memorable introduction to Cup of Nations football as he picked the ball out of the net only five minutes into the game after an opportunist Manucho goal.

Nagm Eldin reacted too slowly when dealing with a back pass and surrendered possession to the tall dreadlocked Angolan, who burst through to score with a low shot across the goalkeeper and in off the far post.

A brass band played endlessly for a small crowd kept cool by overcast conditions at the 15 000-seat stadium, but there was little excitement on the pitch.

The pace was slow with endless midfield duels and the game sprang to life only after 29 minutes when Sudan levelled as Bashir headed home a millimetre-perfect Mudathir Eltaib cross.

It was the first goal scored by the Falcons since March 6, 1976 when they drew 1-1 with Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of Congo - in a meaningless group game.

Manucho repeated his first half feat by scoring again five minutes into the second period, slotting a well taken penalty into the left corner with Akram diving the right way but beaten by power and pace.

There were a couple of significant mid-second half substitutions as the game meandered along with Sudan taking off captain Haitham Mostafa and former Germany youth international Nando Rafael coming on for Angola.

Sudan equalised a second time on 73 minutes when a misunderstanding between two Angolan defenders allowed Bashir to slam the ball past Carlos, who remonstrated furiously with his team-mates.

Read more on:    afcon 2012
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