Angola proved to be tough nuts to crack in group E of the 2019 African Cup of Nations as they held 2004 champions and group favourites Tunisia, to a 1-1 draw at the Suez Stadium on Monday. A second half strike by Angola’s Djalma cancelled out Tunisia’s first penalty goal by Youssef Msakni.
Going into the game, Angola had never beaten Tunisia in their six previous meetings. The Eagles of Carthage on the other hand, had won three and drawn three.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) June 24, 2019
Angola didn’t have the best preparation for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. They played just one friendly – against Guinea-Bissau, which they won 2-0. Tunisia, meanwhile, are ranked the second-best side on the continent and come into the match having won three games on the bounce.
The Angolans started the game rightly making the first attempt, however, Herenilson’s left footed shot from outside the box got stopped by Ben Mustapha in-goal blocked.
The Tunisians took over the game after that. Ellyes Skhiri after receiving a pass from Rami Bedoui, raced towards the Giant Sable Antelopes’ goal before shooting from outside the box but saw it miss th goal. Wajdi Kechrida was next to try Angola’s goal but his right footed shot from outside the box was too high.
Soon, it got worse for the Angolans as Tony Cabaça got booked after a bad challenge as he gave away a freekick to the North Africans. Next to enter the referee’s book was Angola’s goalie, Toni Cabaca.
Barely three minutes after the half hour mark, Naim Sliti received a pass and drove his sway into Angola’s box, but rather than shoot at goal, sold Paízo a dummy and had him concede a penalty. The referee would rather than book the culprit, book the goalkeeper instead for challenging his decision to award the kick.
34’ | Penalty Goal!
Tunisia 🇹🇳 1-0 🇦🇴 Angola (Group E-Suez)
Naim Sliti draws a penalty and Youssef Msakni smashes it down the middle to give Tunisia the lead.#AFCON2019 #TUNANG pic.twitter.com/P7Re61CEj5
— Hannibal Football (@HannibalFtbl) June 24, 2019
Youssef Msakni converted the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner as the Tunisians took the lead. Sliti tried to double the lead for the Tunisians with just two minutes to halftime, but his left footed shot from the right side of the box got blocked off.
Angola’s Serbian gaffer Srdjan Vasiljevic, in a bid to change the tide of the game, made halftime substitutions with Geraldo replacing Stélvio and Gelson Dala coming on for Wilson Eduardo.
But Tunisia tired to take the game beyond the Angolans as Wajdi Kechrida and Wahbi Khazri’s multiple attempts all failed to find their way to the back of the net. Angola also had to do extra by keeping Tunisia at bay in the second half. Their high defensive lines ensured Ghilane Chaalali and Haddadi were always caught on the offside.
Ben Mustapha would keep Tunisia in the game after pulling off a fabulous save to keep Mateus’ right footed shot from outside the box out. But redemption would come for the Angolans as Mateus (Angola) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner found the back of the net three minutes later.
— Mena (@menaaaly) June 24, 2019
The midfielders right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner was all the Angolans needed to draw level. Wahbi Khazri final attempt in the dying of the game was not much of a trouble for Toni in goal as Angola ran away with a point, and setting themselves up for anything in their second game.
Tunisia, now joint top of Group E with Angola – pending the game between Mali and Mauritania later tonight, would take on the Eagles of Mali at the Suez Stadium on Friday while Mauritania go into their second game in the hope of their first three points on Saturday.