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Mali prove point after superb comeback

10 January 2010 23:23

(GSM) - African Cup of Nations hosts Angola were shocked by a superb Mali comeback on the opening match of the tournament after blowing a four-goal lead and were held to a 4-4 draw. Mali's goals all came in the final 11 minutes in the match held in Luanda.

Striker Flavio headed two goals in quick succession late in the first half, Gilberto added the third with a twice-taken penalty midway through the second and Manucho converted a second penalty to put Angola 4-0 ahead.

Mali, hugely disappointing until then, hit back in the 79th minute through Barcelona's Seydou Keita. Angola goalkeeper Fernandes dropped an innocuous cross and Keita stabbed it home at the third attempt. The goal was to be considered as a late consolation.

However, Sevilla star Frederic Kanoute headed another two minutes from time. Tamboura floated in a cross and Kanoute produced a magnificent header to beat Fernandes. There was very little pace on the cross but Kanoute showed his class to head it home for Mali's second.

Keita scored again with a volley hitting the back post and going into the net. Substitute Mustapha Yatabare scored a minute later with Fernandes at fault again, not getting enough on the cross, and could only parry it to Yattabare who fires the rebound home.

The Group A match was a fantastic start to the football tournament that had been overshadowed by the recent attack on the Mali team's bus. The four Mali goals scored in a space of 11 minutes came to shock the frustrated home fans in what was a memorable comeback for Mali.

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