Last night’s opening game of the African Cup of Nation was the most entertaining football match i have watched in quite some time. Mali made a dramatic comeback from 4 goals down to ensure they earned a point against the hosts Angola. The Palancas Negras made light work of Mali in the first half as Flavio scored a brace to send the crowd that included the president and his wife wild in celebration.
The second half was not any better as two penalties put the game beyond Mali’s reach. However, in the 65th minute, the tables seemed to be turning and Mali’s midfield begun creating opportunities. An impressive comeback marshaled by Barcelona’s Seydo Keita, Real Madrid’s Mamadou Diarra and Sevilla’s Freddy Kanoute showed great courage to overturn the scoreline.
The game went into the dying minutes as Mali’s never give up attitude paid off when they scored the equaliser before the final whistle. 8 goals in the first match is a big indicator of just how the tournament will develop. Today’s fixtures see the remainder of Group A nations Algeria and Malawi face off. Ivory Coast will also be in action against Burkina Faso, while Ghana’s match against Togo has been called off.
Togo arrived home yesterday after their president dispatched a plane to ferry the distraught players home following their Friday raid by gunmen when making their way into Angola by bus. Things are starting to heat up in Angola and by the looks of it,this tournament can be won by any nation.