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Tuesday , January 19 2021

Cameroon stay top as Ghana remain winless at Afcon

Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi, foreground, is challenged by Ivory Coast’s Roger Assale during the African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match between Morocco and Ivory Coast in Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on June 28. (AP)

Angola and Mauritania play out goalless draw

ISMAILIA, Egypt, June 29, (RTRS): Cameroon and Ghana, two of the most successful teams in Africa Cup of Nations history, cancelled each other out in a forgettable 0-0 draw in their Group F match on Saturday.

 Ghana nearly snatched the points in the 88th minute when Kwabena Owusu intercepted a wayward pass, charged forward and fired a ferocious shot against the bar.

 Apart from that, the two sides served up a feast of misplaced passes, poor first touches and wayward finishing on another searing evening at the Ismailia stadium, while there were some unusual decisions from the referee.

 Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah was one of the few players to distinguish himself, making three key interventions to prevent a Cameroon goal. Holders Cameroon top the group with four points from two games while Ghana have two points after drawing both their matches.

  Angola and Mauritania drew 0-0 in Group E of the Africa Cup of Nations, leaving both sides facing a battle to advance to the knockout stages.

 It was a second draw for Angola, while Mauritania, making their tournament debut, picked up their first point. Mali top the group with four points from two games while Tunisia, who meet Mauritania next, have two.

 After 21 matches of the tournament in Egypt, the game was the first without any goals although both teams went close. Angola had an effort cleared off the line just after the 20-minute mark by Khassa Camara after striker Fredy rounded the goalkeeper but was forced to shoot from a tight angle.

 Almost 20 minutes into the second half, there was an even more clear-cut opportunity, as Gelson Dala passed across the face of the Mauritania goal, but substitute Wilson Eduardo steered wide of the target.

 Mauritania were much-improved after a 4-1 drubbing by Mali in their debut game at the tournament but did not create any clear chances.

 Their best effort fell to Adama Ba in the 60th minute but his effort, right in front of goal, was blocked by Angola fullback Bruno Gaspar.

 Ten minutes later defender Paizo made a similarly vital tackle to deny Ismael Diakite.

 In the last minute, Angola’s Geraldo forced the ball into the net, but was correctly adjudged offside.

 Angola take on Mali in their last game on Tuesday at the same time as Mauritania meet Tunisia.

Morocco reached the knockout stage of the Africa Cup of Nations after beating Ivory Coast 1-0   to serve notice that they are one of the sides to beat at the tournament in Egypt.

 Youssef En-Nesyri’s 23rd-minute goal ensured a second win in Group D for Morocco, who move onto six points and join fellow heavyweights Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria with a 100 percent record.

 The win came after a polished performance by the north African side, one of the pre-tournament favourites but whose only success in the continental championship came 43 years ago.

 The goal was brilliantly crafted by Noureddine Amrabat’s mazy run as he eliminated four players, before a short ‘no-look’ pass set up En-Nesyri for a left-footed finish.

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