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Angola edge out Mauritania in five-goal thriller

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Angola's Gelson Dala celebrates one of his two goals. PHOTO/CAF
  • Angola beat Mauritania 3-2
  • Gelson Dala scored a brace for Angola
  • Algeria and Burkina Faso played to a draw in the other group match

Angola improved their bid to make the round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations after edging out Mauritania in a thrilling 3-2 victory in Bouake. The victory took the Angolans to four points, and they just need a point off their final group match to assure themselves of a place in the knockout phase.

Gelson Dala scored a double with Gilberto adding the third for Angola, while Mauritania’s goals were scored by Sidi Bouna Amara and Aboubakary Koita.

Having drawn with Algeria in their opening match, Angola were high in confidence and they started the duel well, creating many scoring chances. They were finally rewarded for their industry on the half hour mark when Dala broke the deadlock with an acrobatic volley off a poorly defended corner.

But, Mauritania fought back and they levelled two minutes to the break when Bouna came off the end of a beautiful team play by Mauritania, dribbling his way into the box before striking a brilliant low shot.

This was Mauritania’s first ever goal from open play at the AFCON.

Angola score after Mauritania’s historic goal 


Mauritania celebrate their first ever goal from open play at the AFCON. PHOTO/CAF

In the second half though, Angola sought to finish the game early and scored twice within three minutes. Dala scored his second in the 50th minute when he dribbled his way into the box before clipping the ball over the keeper.

Gilberto then put the icing on the cake three minutes later making amends for a flaring miss at the end of the first half. His left foot shot after twisting away from his marker was deflected beyond the keeper.

Koita scored a scorcher for Mauritania from distance to get them a goal close, but their fight couldn’t sail them to at least a point.

Meanwhile, Algeria and Burkina Faso played out to a thrilling 2-2 draw in the other Group D fixture in Bouake, as the group remains open heading into the final round of pool matches.

The result means Burkina Faso are second in the table with four points, same as leaders Angola, while Algeria are third with two points.

Les Fennecs have picked up successive draws, and must now win their last group match against Mauritania to harbor hopes of making it into the last 16. A draw will mean fate is out of their hands, while defeat will more or less usher them out of competition.

Bounedjah scores in the 95th minute

Against the Burkinabes, a 95th minute leveler by Baghdad Bounedjah saved them from the jaws of defeat. Bounedjah had earlier on cancelled out Mohamed Konate’s early goal, before Bertrand Traore took Burkina Faso back into the lead from the penalty spot.

Algeria had started well with Bounedjah having two chances go begging while Soufiane Feghouli was denied by the keeper. For the missed opportunities they were made to pay at the stroke of halftime when Jonate flew in to head from an Abdoul Tapsoba cross.

In the second half, Algeria sought to get matters into their hands and were rewarded six minutes in when Bounedjah bumbled the ball home from close range after Burkina Faso failed to deal with a freekick. The ball had initially come off the keeper and when no defender cleared, thelanky Algerian number nine stepped up to score.

The Stallions were however back into the lead in the 71st minute when VAR awarded them a penalty after a foul inside the box and Traore tucked it home. The referee had initially waved play on but upon advice from the officials upstairs, reviewed the case.

Algeria fought to get themselves back into contention and they did so in the fifth minute of added time when Bounedjah headed home an Ounas corner.

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