Herenilson de Carmo of Angola celebrates
  • AFCON 2019 (Group E)
  • Tunisia 1-1 Angola
  • Mali 4-1 Mauritania

Tunisia and Angola shared the spoils one-all in a Group E duel played at Suez Army Stadium on Monday at the 2019 AFCON finals.

The North Africans took the lead on 34 minutes through Youssef Msakni’s penalty before Djalma Campos equalized with 17 minutes to play after a blunder by goalkeeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

The result meant that Tunisia became the first 2019 Africa Cup of Nations top seeds not to win their opening match.

Hosts Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal won their first matches of the 24-team tournament.

The other top seeds, Cameroon, debut Tuesday against Guinea-Bissau.

It was the second time Angola and Tunisia met at the biennial African football showpiece and the second time they drew after a goalless deadlock in Ghana 11 years ago. 

Herenilson de Carmo of Angola celebrates

Naim Sliti was floored inside the box by Salomao Paizo and the Ethiopian referee pointed to the spot before yellow-carding goalkeeper Tony Cabaca for dissent.

Msakni took a perfect penalty, striking the ball with power and accuracy over the Angolan shot-stopper.

The goal gave a small but enthusiastic crowd something to cheer after a pedestrian opening half in which the teams had only one goal attempt each on target.

Geraldo, a surprise absentee from the Angolan starting line-up, was introduced by Serbian coach Srdjan Vasiljevic for the second half in place of Stelvio da Cruz.

A second substitution made during half-time saw Gelson Dala, who scored three of the nine goals that took Angola to the finals, replacing Wilson Eduardo.

Tunisia coach and former France star Alain Giresse waited until midway through the second half to make his initial change, sending on Ferjani Sassi for Ghaylen Chaalali.

Angola levelled thanks to a blunder from Tunisia goalkeeper Ben Mustapha, who spilt a weak Mateus da Costa shot and Campos tapped in the rebound.

Wahbi Khazri came close to putting the north Africans ahead again with seven minutes remaining as his shot eluded Cabaca but trickled just wide of the far post.

Msakni was the next Tunisian to try and snatch a late winning goal, unleashing a low shot from just outside the box that Cabaca held at the second attempt.

Wahbi Khazri of Tunisia was man of the match.

In the second Group E match, a ruthless Mali won convincingly 4-1 over Mauritania.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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