Angola beat Malawi to go top

Flavio and Manucho score in 2-0 win as hosts put themselves in charge of Group A.


    Manucho scored his second goal of the competition [AFP]

    Angola shoved Malawi off the top of the Group A table as the Africa Cup of Nations hosts got their tournament back on track with goals from Flavio and Manucho at a raucous November 11 stadium.

    The Black Antelopes struck twice early in the second half as Malawi finally succumbed to to a wave of attacks amid an intimidating atmosphere in the capital.

    The 50,000 capacity arena had a few empty seats but was jammed full of noise as the match kicked off with the hosts fighting for their survival in the tournament following their demoralising capitulation to Mali.

    One spectator blew flames from a burning torch in time with the shouts of the crowd, and it was a fiery contest from the start of a game made more intense by Malawian claims earlier on Thursday that there was an Angolan conspiracy against them.


    The rivalry flared when visiting captain Peter Mponda was swept off his feet in a late tackle, then stretchered off the field.

    Results & fixtures

    Thursday January 14

    Group A
     Mali 0-1 Algeria
     Angola 2-0 Malawi

    Friday January 15

    Group B
     Cote d'Ivoire v Ghana Burkina Faso v Togo*

    * Cancelled due to Togo's withdrawal from competition

    The defender limped back on, and was sorely needed as Angola launched a series of assaults.

    Flavio, Mabina and Real Valladolid striker Manucho were finding the same hectares of space that had allowed them to go four goals up against Mali in their opening match before a late collapse saw them settle for a draw.

    A repeat of that result could not be countenanced by a home crowd that roared its frustration after Campos Djalma skipped into the box only to toe poke tamely over the bar on 25 minutes.

    They weren't much happier when Flavio, who scored two goals agianst Mali, created  scuffed another attempt into the arms of Swadick Sanudi.

    Flavio's tricks were becoming more and more ineffective and the former Al Ahly striker showed his frustration as Malawi's Orlando Pirates star Josephy Kamwenda tidied up in midfield.

    But they gave the ball away softly in defence to allow Djalma to play Manucho through on goal, only for the former Manchester United man to bring a save from the keeper when he should have scored.

    With just over half an hour gone the crowd's support had turned into open hostility.


    As coach Manuel Jose made a substitution, fans were baying for Manucho's number to be raised but it was left winger Gilberto who made way for Alexandre Jamuana.

    Jose could have had no intention of bringing off his dangerous target man, whose presence kept the Malawi defenders cautious as their attackers surged forward at the end of the half.

    "As a coach to see players arrive for training and be turned away, it's very hard. Maybe now we've played Angola they'll give us a ground and we can train"

    Kinnah Phiri, Malawi coach

    First a fizzed cross from Moses Chavula was met by Esau Kanyenda, but the forward could only knock it tamely towards Fernandes Carlos in the Angola goal.

    Coach Jose had kept faith with the long-haired keeper after his mistake had sparked Mali's goal rush on Monday, and Carlos had to be alert when Malawi's Peter Wadabwa almost put them in front with an outrageous piece of skill.

    Chavula played an angled ball to Victor Nyirenda down the left, with the winger delaying his cross to whip the ball to the edge of the six yard box.

    With his back to goal, Wadabwa executed a back-heeled half volley that would have been a contender for goal of the tournament had Carlos not dived smartly to his right.

    Manucho and Flavio had further attempts for Angola, who came late onto the pitch for the second half as the crowd cranked up the decibels once again.

    Head boy

    They didn't have to wait long to raise the roof, with Flavio scoring his third header of the tournament from a cross from the left by Djalma with four minutes of the second half gone.

    Flavio has opened the scoring in both of Angola's matches so far [AFP]
    It was the first time Malawi had conceded in 139 minutes of Africa Cup of Nations football and it proved to be the thin end of the wedge as Mponda lost the ball to Manucho, who blasted home the second.

    Tempers spilled over when the Angolan bench ran to the sidelines to protest a Malawi tackle as the match settled into a midfield battle.

    And there was to be no repeat of the Mali debacle as Angola withstood some mild pressure from the visitors to bag all three points.

    Angola are top of Group A on four points, with Malawi and Algeria behind them with three each and Mali on one.

    Malawi coach Kinnah Phiri was still fuming after the game at what he saw as Angola's attempts to destabilise his preparations by double-booking their training pitch.

    "As a coach to see players arrive for training and be turned away, it's very hard," said Phiri.

    "Maybe now we've played Angola they'll give us a ground and we can train."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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