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How Mali got out of jail – Angola 4:4 Mali, Match Report

January 11, 2010

Flavio Amado (Left) (Credit JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Stadium: Estadio dos Coqueiros
Attendance: 45,000
Match Time: 19:00 UK

In what would go down as one of the most dramatic or perhaps the most magical moments of football on the continent at the biggest level, it was Mali who stunned the host nation Angola as they staged a comeback from 4 goals down with only 16 minutes to end the game. How Angola could surrender a 4 goal lead after clearly dominating 70 minutes of proceedings is still very surprising as much as debatable.

One thing is for sure, despite the controversy that hangs around the 27th edition of the African Cup of Nation, after gunmen attack The Sparrow Hawks of Togo, footballer lovers on the continent cannot wait for up coming games. What a way to kick start the tournament.

First Half
It was a cagey start as both teams sort to dominate the match in the early few minutes. The Palancas Negras had a chance at goal as Flavio tested the keeper from outside the area only three minutes into the action. As the game went on, Angola started to dedicate play but lacked the creative power up front to cause anything spectacular.

However their dominance paid off when in the 37 min a searching cross from the right found Flavio to make it 1 for the hosts. Flavio rose to the occassion again with another powerful header to beat Mali shot stopper, Carlos.

Mali was in all kinds of trouble and at half time it appeared they were going to lose this one to a team they had thrashed 4 nil in a friendly match last year.

Second Half
Back from recess, it was still all Angola as they quickly gained control of the game, no different from the previous half. They exploited the wings with Mabina and Gilberto supplying crosses over they Malian defense. But as the game wore it was Malian team who looked the impressive of the 2.

On the 67th min Mali gave the Angolans a chance to make it 3 from a spot kick when playmaker, Gilberto was brought down by Mamadou Bagayoko in the penalty box. The Gilberto opted to take the kick, which he expertly converted on the second attempt since the first was disallowed by the referee. Angola did not relent. Gilberto’s quick dribbling and his ability to pass the ball was on show today. He found himself again in the box and he was impeded the second time, but went down too easily. The referee awards another penalty and Manucho converts it to make it 4 for Angola on the 74th minute mark. That must have sealed the fate of Mali.

The drama begins. Angola goalkeeper, Carlos could not hold on to a ball that was floated into the six yard box. There is a scramble for the ball, but it was Barcelona star, Keita who had the final touch to make it one for the Malians. At that point it looked no more than a consolation for the down trodden Mali team. Angola coach, Manuel Jose, takes off Flavio and then Gilberto who by far were the best players on the pitch. Would he regret his decision?

On 88 minutes Kanoute scored for Mali with a thunderous headed to stun the Angolan fans who were left in the stadium (…the rest had left thinking it was all over after all their team was leading by four goal.) Surely no one still could see Mali producing a better result than just reducing the deficit. Angola were put to the sword again, as they failed to deal with another cross again into the box. Keita made them pay for it as he registered his personal two on the night.

It’s 4 – 3 now and only a minute of added on time to play. With a weakened Angola back line all the Eagles had to do was to send another cross into the box. Carlos parries the ball but to goes to the wrong man, Yattabare, who drives home a rebound.

Goal Summary Angola 4-4 Mali
1 – 0 : Flávio (37′)
2 – 0 : Flávio (42′)
3 – 0 : Gilberto (67′)
4 – 0 : Manucho (74′)
4 – 1 : Seydou Keita (79′)
4 – 2 : Frédéric Kanouté (88′)
4 – 3 : Seydou Keita (90′)
4 – 4 : Mustapha Yatabare (90′)

13 Fernandes Carlos Alberto, 15 Rui Marquee, 5 Carlos Manuel Goncalves Alonso Kali, 10 Francisco Zuela, 11 Sebastiao Felisberto Graca Amaral Gilberto(3 Enoque Guilherme 81′); 8 Xara, 19 Aderito Waldemar Dede(14 Djalma 25′); 20 Rosa Stelvio Cruz, 21 Alberto Jose Mabina, 16 Amado Flavio(18 Arsenio Cabungula Love 83′), 23 Alberto Mateus Contreir Goncalves Manucho

Booked: Rosa Stelvio Cruz (45), Xara (61)

1 Mahamadou Sidibe, 5 Souleymane Diamoutene, 3 Adama Tamboura, 13 Bakary Soumare, 2 Ousmane Berthe, 6 Mahamadou Diarra, 17 El Hadj, 10 Modibo Maiga Traore(12 Seydou Keita 34′) 15 Bakaye Traore(20 Lassana Fane 56′); 19 Frederic Kanouté, 9 Mamadou Bagayoko(21 Mustapha Yatabare 75′)

Booked::Bakary Soumare (45), El Hadj Traore (72), Seydou Keita (73), Mahamadou Diarra (77)

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