Angola and Morocco draw blank

Angola and Morocco played out a goalless stalemate to cap a disappointing opening day's action at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Last Updated: 19/01/13 at 22:28 Post Comment

Manucho: Angola striker had best chance of the game

Manucho: Angola striker had best chance of the game

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After hosts South Africa and Cape Verde kicked off the tournament with a listless 0-0 draw earlier today, a similarly uninspiring contest played out in Johannesburg this evening, although Angola and Morocco at least showed a little more enterprise.

Former Manchester United striker Manucho might have secured Angola all the points to take them top of Group A, but his header from an inviting cross flashed just wide in the dying moments.

Angola fired an early warning shot when Mingo Bile hit a low drive that forced Nadir Lamyaghri into a good save in the third minute, while Morocco threatened when Mounir El Hamdaoui drove forward and fired in an effort that warmed the palms of Mamona Lama.

Liverpool's Oussama Assaidi hooked an effort over the bar in the 14th minute as Morocco again threatened, but that was as good as the first period got as chances dried up.

Morocco's highly-rated Montpellier playmaker Younes Belhanda suffered a slight muscle injury ahead of the match and was only fit enough for a place on the bench, but he was quickly into the action after coming on in the 63rd minute, firing a low shot wide from inside the area.

Yet it was Angola who looked most likely to break the deadlock late on and Mateus went close in the 87th minute with a fierce shot from distance that went straight down the throat of Lamyaghri.

With the clock ticking down there was still time for one more chance to come and go, Manucho spurning perhaps the game's best opening as he flung himself at Mateus' cross but somehow glanced his diving header from six yards beyond the far post.

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