Angola and Mauritania played the first goalless draw of AFCON 2019; a game that ended 0-0 in Suez Saturday. The result put the two teams on the brink of early elimination from the biennial competition.
The match was played under an extreme condition as the temperature reached about 35 degree Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), which could have contributed to the poor display by both teams.
However, both teams did not indicate much eagerness, and there were not many goal-scoring opportunities created. After holding Group E leader Tunisia, Angola was in an excellent position to win. Although they manage to get the ball past the goalkeeper in the last moment, Hermenegildo Geraldo found in an offside position.
Mali leads the group with four points after two matches; Tunisia and Angola have two points and one point for debutants C.
After a 4-1 trashing by Mali, Mauritania coach Corentin Martins rolled out three changes to the starting lineup.
However, he still had trust in goalkeeper Brahim Souleimane, who had a stunner against the Malians; he could have performed better to prevent some of the goals against the Malians.
Angola, after six years of absence from the biennial competition, exceeded expectations in their first match by coming from behind to rescue a point against Tunisia, in a game that ended 1 – 1.
Angola coach mentor Srdjan Vasiljevic rolled out two changes while once more he kept star winger Geraldo from top African and Egyptian club Al Ahly on the sideline.
The two countries met in the qualifiers to the tournament with Angola winning 4-1 in Luanda; however, Mauritania reversed the result with a 1-0 win in Nouakchott.
In a goalless first forty-five minutes, the best opportunity to open the scoring fell to Angolan Djalma Campos, who scored against Tunisia.
Gelson Dala moved the ball down the left flank and passed to Campos, who dribbled past Souleimane, but the goal-bound shot was weak, and Khassa Camara cleared it off the line.
Afterward, Bruno Gaspar had a penalty claim correctly overlooked by the Egyptian ref as replays revealed that he lost his balance when Aly Abeid challenged him.
The captains of the two teams were substituted early in the second forty-five minutes; Angolan Wilson Eduardo came in for Mateus da Costa and Mauritanian Sounkhasso Diarra replaced Ba Abdoul.
Geraldo also came in to replace Fredy Ribeiro, however, could not change the game.
Eduardo was brought on only seven minutes when he squandered an excellent opportunity to put his team in front, but he played the ball wide with an open goal before him.