Angola holds Tunisia to a deserved draw

Wilson Eduardo of Angola challenged by Oussama Hadadi of Tunisia during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Tunisia and Angola at Suez Army Stadium, Suez, Egypt on 24 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Angola’s Palancas Negras produced a brave performance to hold group favourites Tunisia to a 1-1 draw, as Group E kicked off in Suez. Djalma Campos scored after 73 minutes to cancel Youssef Msakni's 34th minute opening goal for Tunisia.

Mali takes on Mauritania in the group other match at the same venue.

Tunisia started the game on an attacking note and it was early as the fourth minute when Naim Sliti found his way to Angola’s vital area but the defense forced him to see his effort blocked. Angola replied with Herenilson trying from a long distance but his shot missed the target.

With most of the action being in the midfield, Wajdy Kecherida tested his lack from distance after 16 minutes, but in vain. Same was the fate for Angola’s Djalma four minutes later.

Two minutes after the half hour mark Wahbi Khazri found his way to the vital area and laid the ball to Sliti who was felled by Dani Massungona for a penalty. From the spot, Msakni kept his nerves to give the Carthage Eagles the lead that lasted till both teams went to the dressing rooms.

Yassine Merriah of Tunisia challenged by Djalma Campos of Angola during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Tunisia and Angola at Suez Army Stadium, Suez, Egypt on 24 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Angola started the second half on high note searching for the equalizer. Their first chance came nine minutes after the break when substitute Geraldo sent a calling cross that found Tunisian defense just in time. Tunisia opted for slowing down the pace looking satisfied with their lone goal lead.

Despite seeing Angola controlling possession, the Carthage Eagles were near to doubling their lead when Kechrida sent a long range shot that missed the goal after the hour mark.

Angola continued pressuring and they were finally rewarded the equalizer after 73 minutes. Mateus received the ball just outside the area and sent a scorcher that Tunisia goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustafa spilled to Djalma who scored easily from close range to restore parity.

Djalma could have given Angola the lead five minutes later but Ben Mustafa was up to the task this time.

Msakni should have snatched the winner for Tunisia two minutes into injury time when he received the ball inside the area and tried to score but he found the safe hands of Tony Cabaca to give Angola a precious point against favourites Tunisia.

Total Man of the match: Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)