South Africa and Angola draw in Tamale
South Africa and Angola draw in Tamale Website
An 85th minute strike from the top of 18 by substitute Van Heerden Elrio zoomed into the Angolan net and saved South Africa from defeat in the second “Group D” match of the MTN Africa Cup of Nations played at Tamale Stadium on Wednesday. It was a thrilling match which kept fans cheering continuously as the South Africans strained every nerve to redeem a goal scored against them in the 29th minute. Alberto Mateus found the net in the 29th minute against the run of play as the Bafana Bafana had dominated the earlier exchanges. Mateus capitalised on a momentary loss of concentration by the South Africans to slot the ball into their net. The goal gingered the Angolans, who took control of the match and used their physique and experience to create many chances but could not convert any into a goal. The two sides played as if their very life depended on the outcome of the match as they raised the tempo to the admiration of the fans. The South Africans regrouped and picked up their rhythm again but could not work the magic for the equalizer until referee Coulibaly Koman from Mali whistled to end the first half. The second department of the game did not change things but the Angolans looked more aggressive at goal, particularly, Baptista Nsimba, who added strength and dribbling antics but could not help to increase the tally for his side. The South Africans resorted to long passes and were very swift with the ball and this gave their supporters a glimmer of hope that all was not lost. After persistent efforts Elrio meandered his way through the Angolan defence and sent that thunderbolt from behind the 18 box to cancel the Angolan lead. Few minutes later Elrio again sent another cracker of a shot but the goalkeeper Joao Lius stretched fully to parry the ball away for a corner kick, which was wasted. All efforts by both teams to pick the three maximum points proved futile until proceedings was brought to an end to leave the qualification to the next stage of the competition still open. Tamale is the only venue to record two draws since the commencement of the tournament on Sunday with all four teams having one point each.