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Mali fight back to draw with Angola in CHAN thriller

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Ousmane Koulibaly equalized after seven minutes as Mali drew 3-3 against Angola from two goals behind in Algeria’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) match in Algeria on Monday.

Deivi ‘Gilberto’ Vieira’s side looked set to win their Group D opener at the Olympic Stadium in the frigid western city of Oran when he gave the Angolans a two-goal lead in the 72nd minute.

But six minutes later Yoro Diaby nodded his corner into the net and substitute Coulibaly finished the drama with a loose kick past keeper Hugo Marques. counterattack.

Laurindo ‘Depu’ Aurelio put Angola ahead twice in the first half and Hamidou Sinayoko, 36, scored for Mali.

After just five goals in the first five mini-league games at three other venues, the 40,000-seat stadium staged a goal-scoring feast on a winter’s night, thrilling a small crowd.

Both Mali and Angola came close to winning a unique national team championship because it was restricted to footballers who played for clubs in their country of birth.

Angola was runners-up to Tunisia in 2011, Mali lost to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 2016 final and was beaten by Morocco in the 2020 title race.

After their opening doubles match, Cameroon beat Congo Brazzaville 1-0 in a less exciting Central-African showdown in Group E.

Cameroon, who finished fourth in the last edition of the tournament, always looked like a surefire winner, but it took them 63 minutes to break the deadlock against tough opponents.

As the ball flew into goal, Jerome Mbekeli sprinted forward and his header was perfectly positioned to give goalkeeper Pavelhe Nzila no chance.

Substitute Mbekeli scored the only goal for Vincent Abubakar as Cameroon beat Brazil in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar last month.

dl/dmc



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