Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Angola and Morocco play out stalemate
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: The second goalless draw of the day sees the tournament start with a whimper
Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations remains wide open after Angola and Morocco played out a second goalless draw of the day in Johannesburg.
Both sides showed plenty of spirit and effort in a scrappy affair, with former Manchester United man Manucho missing a number of second half chances.
Aston Villa’s Karim El Hamedi came close five minutes in when his poked effort saw Angolan keeper Lama get down low and push wide for a Moroccan corner.
Former Spurs man Mounir El Hamdaoui forced the 31-year-old into another fine stop five minutes later, when he found space to shoot from 25 yards out.
The Moroccans made a dominant start, but with Manucho in attack, Angola were always dangerous on the counter.
As the half wore on, both sides lost their early attacking endeavour, with the game broken up by a series of little fouls and wasted free kicks.
Substitute Guilherme Afonso nearly made an instant impact straight after the break, but he toe-poked wide after Nadir Lamyaghri’s mistake.
Angola, with Guilherme supporting Manucho in attack, looked more lively than before the break, and threatened each time they went forward.
Geraldo was getting joy down’s Angola’s left, but failed to take advantage of free shot at goal when he arrived late at the back post on 67 minutes.
Moroccan playmaker and sub Younes Belhada nearly made an instant impact with 20 minutes remaining when he was played in by Liverpool’s Oussama Assaidi, but he dragged his shot wide.
Manucho, with eight goals in previous Africa Cup of Nations appearances, had his first sighter with seven minutes left, but fired wide after Guilherme went close.
Mateus, who plays his club football in Angola, drilled in a superb 30-yard effort on 86 minutes, but Lamyaghri was equal to the effort.
The CD Nacional man turned provider a minute later when whipped in a cross that Manucho could only divert wide with his head.
With South Africa and Cape Verde also drawing a blank earlier in the day, both sides still have qualification out of the group stages in their own hands.