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Mali fightback to salvage draw

LUANDA, January 11 – Mali made a miraculous recovery to pull back from a four goal deficit to hold Angola to a 4-4 draw in the opening game of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations here on Sunday.

The hosts appeared set for the best possible start when a first half double from Flavio Armado and penalties from Gilberto and Manucho had them celebrating a famous victory.

With only 16 minutes on the clock Mali looked down and out.

But a double from Seydou Keita and contributions from Frederic Kanoute and Mustapha Yattabare gave them an improbable draw.

Angola coach Manuel Jose said: "This draw tasted like a defeat to me, this is one of the most bitter pills I’ve ever had to swallow in all the matches of my long career.

"Football in Africa is learning on the road, we have the skills but we were a little naive.

"It makes the next match a little more complicated. The public deserved a win."

Angola skipper Kali added: "We have to raise our heads – I’m so sad and sorry – there’s no explanation for letting go of such a big lead.

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"But we’ve got to give a good response in our next match."

Mali coach Stephen Keshi, who lifted the title with Nigeria as a player in the 1990s, didn”t know whether to laugh or cry.

"It was a little difficult to believe we might come back. I’ve got mixed feelings, I’m happy with a draw but upset with my team."

This Nations Cup curtain raiser began with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of Friday’s deadly gun attack on the Togo team coach in Cabinda.

The silence, immaculately observed by the 50,000 capacity crowd, turned to something much louder seconds after kick off when Mali goalkeeper Mahamadou Sidibe had to look lively to deal with Flavio’s shot from the left.

The Angolan striker only made the starting XI after shrugging off injury but Keita was on the bench after missing the Eagles’ warm-up games with a thigh problem.

Angola were forced into an unscheduled change of personnel in the 22nd minute when Aderito Carvalho was stretchered off and replaced by Djalma Campos.

Mali coach Stephen Keshi sent Barcelona midfielder Keita into the fray sooner than expected when Le Mans forward Modibo Maiga limped out of contention.

This was the first ever match at the 11 November stadium built by the Chinese and resembling a smaller version of Beijing’s Birds’ Nest.

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And the ‘Chicks Nest’ burst into life in the 35th minute when Flavio raced on to Gilberto’s angled 20 metre freekick from the left to put the hosts’ in front with a low powerful header.

One minute from the break Flavio got his double, another fine header set up by fullback Jose ‘Malbina’ Alberto.

That prompted the wife of Angolan head of state Jose Eduardo dos Santos to jump off her seat and execute a very un-First Lady style jig.

Mali’s multi-million pound strikeforce led by Sevilla’s Kanoute had proved strangely impotent in the first half.

They looked a more purposeful force after the interval, with only Angola keeper Carlos Fernandes’ charge out of his box stopping Mali captain Mahamadou Diarra’s shot.

Gilberto then struck from the spot after he was brought down in the box by Mamadou Samassa.

The Al-Ahly midfielder proved a cool customer as he converted, but was then ordered to have a second go by Egyptian referee Essam Abdel Fatah, which he duly struck past Sidibe.

Manucho got Angola’s fourth, also from the spot after another foul on Gilberto.

But then Angola crumbled.

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Keita began the comeback after a scramble for the ball in the box following a mistake by Fernandes.

Then Kanoute struck with a classy header, with Keita producing a volley for his double and Yattabare grabbing a highly unlikely point for the Eagles.

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  1. Kwessi Pratt

    September 2, 2013 at 6:21 am

    We have already tried too many futile tricks. Retired president kibaki was not a suspect but failed miserably. We willingly and gladly approached ICC, knowing very well that once they took our cases, a reverse would be impossible. Dont we realize when things spiral out of our control?

    • wandia

      September 2, 2013 at 9:06 am

      In Shaa Allah all good things have been decree for the believers Just ask for help as Kenyans. Allah is a Just responsive Lord & Creator, Allah is near to those oppressed, Allah’s powers manifest over all evil in everything! Call upon Allah by his names in all situations? Give thanks for his Swift response to his own. This is a case that is already reverse by the Kenyans even before the ICC accept that facts; all shall learn to Fear Allah as the Allah Akbar.

      • Kwessi Pratt

        September 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        When Jesus was fasting for Forty days and nights, Satan came to Him am asked Him to worship him. In return the devil was to give Him (Jesus) power over all kingdoms and with their splandour. Do you know which kingdoms the devil refered to? Empty almost unclean faith and reality conflict at best of all times pal!!!!

        • Guest

          September 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm

          pal, relax, not even ICC will take you to Statehouse. We know that obsession with ICC is not for victims but to make the road to Statehouse smoother (perhaps).

          • Jambo

            September 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm

            A referendum on ICC is equal to a referendum to the Supreme Court. Better start here first then engage ICC. ICC is a great for the government to solve land issues and relocate the displaced during the post election violence. So better be grateful to ICC. Otherwise, nothing would be happening.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            September 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

            These guys are wickedly self-centred. They want what benefits two or three people and not that would do miracles to to 42million Kenyans. Where were they all this time? I guess, they never thought the day of reckoning will be at hand. Of course, we had contented ourselves in believing that now our “top guys” cant be tried at all. You know during campaigns that was the special line of argument. However, guys didnt have plan B at all. Earlier, I had suggested they should get some local insurance for themselves instead of running. They never listened because they were too narrow. They believed mere election/appointment would nulify ICC cases. Its now time for them to show us the way. What they denied wont happen is actually what they are saying will happen now! In real sense, they are now admitting integrity issue was NOT PROPERLY ADDRESSED! My be they resign now??!!!

          • Kwessi Pratt

            September 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

            We are not talking state here. But even then thievery, tripple tyrany numbers and misuse of state power can easily take anyone to state house! Two times, we conned other guys. Be sure friend it wont happen a third time. And fictitious so called tyrany numbers wont have taken anybody to state house at all. It was a mere appointment one’s successor. You expect guys with murderous charges to become anything anywhere on earth? No wonder desperation is certainly becoming overwhelming

        • wandia

          September 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

          Iqar! read the Quran to establish how well Isa (Jesus) answered Satan. Satan was cursed out of paradise has nothing to give any nor can Satan give live to anthing not even an ant. But Satan is well aware of ignorant people who don’t seek refuge in Allah surah 2v 255, 112, 113, 114, Surah 7 vs 11- 25 “Get down o earth will be a dwelling place for you to enjoying but for a time limit only Read again reflect upon why in surah 18v 50 – 51 Satan seek for mankind to submit to himself? He Satan & his helpers destroyed all the revealed books to Moses, David Isa(Jesus) But he can’t destroy the Quran as it is guarded & Mohammed is the last of the prophets until the last day on earth so that people have read & reciting the rope of Allah that is (words) of the Quran, that is alive today until the last day which Satan denys of; Let not Satan deceiver you he is helping you or any he is a plain open enemy to mankind! Read the last & protected revealed books to be guided into the right straight path decree for all mankind. The Quran! Iqar was the first command to Adam to teach all mankind how to repent purify & re-establish pure relationship with our Lord & creator.

          • Kwessi Pratt

            September 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm

            Koran is very debatable to those who are not muslims. Christians and known reocrds dont say better things about islam and its origin. Therefore, in order to avoid cruel mix up, address the issue at hand and keep those verses to yourself. Am sure you wont want us to offend each other, do you?

          • wandia

            September 4, 2013 at 5:14 pm

            The inviting is open to anyone who is not ignorant or in denial. Sending out an invitation to all to Read the Quran & Reflect upon its wording Read the Quran for yourself don’t follow what other are telling you Iqar! Find about Islam for yourself that is if your are seeking to know the right for wrong as decree by our Lord & Creator. Islam is we read the only one true religion acceptable to Allah decree for all mankind. Seek knowledge, guidance into the right straight path. Why would anyone have the intent to offend others by denial one access to reading the Quran for your self. History can’t be changed or denied. This is a welcome to Islam!

  2. Thirng'inyi

    September 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    If we can’t even deal with TJRC report after spending billions going all over the country to deal with past crimes committed by the state against the citizens why are we surprised that muthamaki is headed to The Hague. State House Nairobi has been the Vatican of political murder, assassinations, ethnic cleansing, massacres, theft of public resources, massive land grabbing and all sorts of crimes. For 50 years and counting. Let these cases be heard. Why are some people afraid of the truth. Kenya took this case to the ICC. It had nothing to do with the UN.

    • Kwessi Pratt

      September 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Stagnation of our great nation was caused by selfish interest. Anyone wishing the country well wont even think of such referendum. And interestingly, when we are fiercely opposed to same referendum being conducted purely for the benefit of 42million Kenyans!!!!

  3. Just

    September 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Pro-govt blogger suggesting a referendum when it suits his men’s interests but totally opposed to it when it is about matters of interest to Kenyans e.g. on devolution. Pathetic! Was a pain to read.

  4. Dee

    September 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Oh, so u unleash tyranny of numbers? We r not fools Mr. Sycophant! Referendum for things that affect us, like tax on basic commodities and more cash for counties and not for cases of 3 men. Have u ever had a referendum for a chicken thief? Be realistic…or get another hobby that is not writing.

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