Mauritania holds Angola to throw Group E open

Ismael Diakite of Mauritania challenged by Bruno Gaspar of Angola during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Mauritania and Angola  at the Suez Stadium, Suez, Egypt on 29 June 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Debutants Mauritania picked up their first ever point at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), holding the more experienced Angola to a 0-0 draw At the Suez Stadium on Saturday evening and throw Group E wide open.

The result sees Angola remain third on the table with two points, same as second placed Tunisia and two behind leaders Mali. Mauritania remained bottom of the group with just one point. Heading into the final round of pool matches next Tuesday, all teams have a chance of going through to the round of 16.

The debutants will take on second placed Tunisia in Suez while Angola face off with the leaders Mali in Ismailia in two matches that will be like finals for the group.

Mauritania came into their second group match an improved lot having lost their opening game 4-1 to Mali and were keen to make amends with a better show.

They had two moments in the first half in which they held their hearts in their mouths, but luckily the opportunities infront of their goal could not change the scores in the tie.

In the 10th minute, their keeper Brahim Souleimane came off his line to collect a cross from Mateus da Costa, but the ball took an awkward bounce and skipped over him. Luckily, it bounced just inches off target.

In the 24th minute, Khassa Camara cleared the ball off the line after Djalma Campos had gone past the keeper and side footed the ball on target.

Mauritania grew into the game and had chances to score with Adama Ba twice coming close but his efforts went wide. In the second half, he came closest when a cross landed on his path from the left, but his touch at point blank was just too heavy.

Substitute Hermenegildo Gerardo thought he had snatched a late winner for the Palancas Negras in the 88th minute but he was ruled offside when he raced on to a cross from Salomao Paizo.

Total Man of the Match: Gelson Dala (Angola)