SOUTH AFRICA 0 - 0 CAPE VERDE
The opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations between South Africa and Cape Verde Islands at Soccer City was one to forget as it finished in a goalless draw. The tournament which kicked off on the 19th of January 2013.
It was a game the capacity crowd would want to forget as soon as possible as it lacked any quality, with neither side being able to string together meaningful passes or create much in terms of scoring chances.
The hosts had an early chance to take the lead – Thuso Phala won a free-kick on the right and Siphiwe Tshabalala whipped in a curling effort, but Bernard Parker could not steer his near-post header on target.
On 13 minutes there was another chance for Bafana when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, but Shabba’s shot was a tame one and went straight into the arms of goalkeeper Vozinha.
Then the half’s best chance. South Africa’s shaky defence was found out prior to the tournament, and it showed no signs of improvement when Babanco’s through-ball put Platini one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune, but he dragged his shot woefully wide.
Nerves were showing on both sides and chances were few and far between as a result of misplaced passes and the wet conditions, but Cape Verde had one more opportunity towards the end of the half after Bafana failed to deal with a corner, but Mendes fired over from a tight angle.
Lerato Chabangu came on for Kagisho Dikgacoi at the start of the second half, and he immediately tried to make an impact with an audacious bicycle kick, but the connection was poor.
Then, on 58 minutes, the closest Bafana came to a goal. Lehlohonolo Majoro ran onto a long ball and cut inside to feed Parker. The ball was taken off his feet but fell to Tshabalala, but his shot was bravely saved by the keeper.
The game then descended into a scrap of note as both teams showed a lack of quality and ability to adapt to the wet conditions, but Cape Verde did have one more good opportunity with 15 minutes to go. Some more poor defending allowed Heldon with a diving header, but Khune managed to tip the ball around the corner.
Thabo Matlaba had one last effort towards the end of the match when he was teed up by Chabangu, but it was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Khumalo headed over – a great chance missed yet again.
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD
46 mins - Lerato Chabangu
60 mins - Thulani Serero
69 mins - Katlego Mphela
CAPE VERDE SQUAD
63 mins - Julio Tavares
76 mins - David Silva (Cape Verde)
mins - Roni
ANGOLA 0 - 0 MOROCCO
South Africa and Cape Verde’s goalless draw the pressure was on the two teams to deliver the goals and make the fixture the better game of the evening, but it was not to be.
Angola’s shot-stopper was immediately put to the test, inside the first ten minutes of the game, through a strike from outside the area by Mounir El Hamdaoui.
The Palancas Negras struggled to turn around Morocco’s mobile and organised style of play which saw the North African’s dominate the opening 20 minutes of the game.
Set pieces seemed to be the only way in which Angola looked likely to score and they were fed the opportunity by Manucho, with a worked ball into the box, just before the half hour mark, but it was offside.
The misfiring continued until the end of the first 45 minutes when Adil Hermach struck a woeful effort over the bar.
Angola coach Gastavo Ferrin opted to bring in Guilherme Afonso at the start of the break, seeing Mingo Bile come off in his place.
Nervy moments struck the Moroccan camp when Abdelhahim El Kaoutari nearly deflected the ball into the back of his own net, as Angola started to take a hold of the momentum of the game.
Younes Belhanda was brought on for his creative skill and flair and it almost paid off immediately when he twisted and turned in the box to unleash a 68th minute shot which went just wide.
Manucho had the perfect opportunity to burry a late goal with two minutes to go, but he disappointingly struck his effort wide, as the game saw out a goalless draw between the two teams.
46 mins - Guilherme Afonso
78 mins - Marco Airosa
82 mins - Gilberto
Abdelhamid El Kaoutari
Issam El Adoua
63 mins - Younes Belhanda
Karim El Ahmadi
82 mins - Chahir Belghazouani
Mounir El Hamdaoui
71 mins - Youssef El Arabi
GHANA 2 - 2 CONGO
Ghana let their two-goal lead slip on Sunday, playing out an entertaining 2-2 draw with DR Congo in Port Elizabeth in their Group B Africa Cup of Nations opener.
The Black Stars took a 2-0 lead before the 50th minute mark, but a second half charge from the Leopards handed Claude LeRoy's troops a share of the spoils thanks to goals from captain Tresor Mputu Mabi and Dieudonne ‘Dieumerci’ Mbokani.
It was Ghana who made the first move of the match when Christian Atsu's incisive cross was cleared by Larrys Mabiala for a corner-kick, but the Congolese managed to deal with it.
At the other end, midfielder Derek Boateng intervened to deny Mputu Mabu who was on the break.
DR Congo fired the first warning shot when experienced striker Lualua Lomana smashed the woodwork after Mputu's excellent run from the right.
Mputu missed the match's first real chance when he shockingly shot wide after being teed up from 12 metres inside the box by striker Mbokani.
Ghana responded seven minutes later with a goal threatening strike from 20 metres courtesy of Albert Adomah, but it was off target.
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan was put through on a one-on-one situation but disappointingly shot wide on the half-hour mark.
Nine minutes later Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu opened the scoring, for the match and for the tournament, and Ghana went into the break with a 1-0 lead, despite chasing shadows.
Juventus star Kwadwo Asamoah grabbed the second for Ghana four minutes after the break when he headed in from a corner-kick which rattled the inside of the crossbar.
Captain Mputu pulled one back when he finished off a nice move which carved the Ghana defence open in the 53rd minute to make it 2-1.
Then, debutant Akaminko pulled the shirt of striker striker Mbokani inside the box and the Anderlecht danger-man converted from the penalty spot to draw the Leopards level on 68 minutes.
Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda pulled of a great save to deny Youssouf Mulumbu the third goal after a brilliant move from the wings kept the scores level.
DR Congo keeper Kidibia twice had to deny Gyan by parrying away his efforts.
Ghana's next match is against Mali at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday while DR Congo face Niger.
82 mins - Harrison Afful
56 mins - Rabiu Mohammed
79 mins - Anthony Annan
DR CONGO SQUAD
Larrys Mabiala Destin
Jean Kasusula Kiritcho
Djo Issama Mpeko
Tresor Mputu Mabi
74 mins - Gabriel Zakwani
Youssouf Chafiq Mulumbu Ngangu
Patou Kabangu Mulota
67 mins - Alain Kaluyituka Dioko
Tresor Lualua Lomana
73 mins - Deogracias Kanda a Mukok
Dieudonne 'Dieumerci' Mbokani Bezua
MALI 1 - 0 NIGER
Seydou Keita scored six minutes from time to hand Mali a 1-0 win over Niger in their Africa Cup of Nations opener.
Mali deserved the victory, as they dominated possession and create chances, and also hit the woodwork.
Cheick Diabate has a chance early on, as he drove a low effort towards goal in the third minute, but Kassaly Daouda got down well to make the save.
Kalilou Traore tried an ambitious shot from 35 metres, which drifted wide via a deflection in the 16th minute.
In the 22nd minute Niger won a corner on the right flank, which Issoufou delivered, and after a scramble the ball dropped to Koffi Dan Kowa who smashed a shot towards goal, but Mamadou Samassa did well to block it and the ball rolled out for the throw-in.
On the half-hour mark, Traore delivered a ball into the box, which took a slight deflection as travelled towards the back post. Sigamary Diarra was unmarked, but couldonly knee the ball out for a goal-kick, with the Niger keeper at his mercy after missing the ball in the air.
In the 78th minute Mali had a great chance, as Diarra picked out Diabate in space. He cushioned his lay-off for Keita, who looked to pass the ball into the back of the net, and he struck the post before Karim Lancina put it behind for a corner.
With six minutes remaining the Eagles of Mali found the crucial goal they had been seeking. Diawara delivered the ball into the box and it looked to be a routine catch for Niger keeper Daouda. He fumbled, however, and the ball fell to Keita, who had the simplest of tasks, shooting into an open net.
Cheick Fantamady Diarra
46 mins - Mahamadou Samassa
Cheick Tidiane Diabate
89 mins - Issoufou Alhassane
Koffi Dan Kowa