Fans in attendance at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran were treated to a highly entertaining evening of African football after Mali and Angola played out to a high-scoring 3-3 draw in the opening Group D match of the 2022 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) on Monday.
A brace in the first half by Laurindo Aurelio and second half strike by Miguel Viera for Angola was cancelled out by goals from Haidou Sinyako, Yoro Diaby and Ousmane Coulibaly for Mali who put up a brave fight to take away a point.
The match kicked off at an electrifying pace, with both sides eager to find a confidence-boosting early lead.
It was however in the 12th minute that the deadlock broke in favour of Angola after a quick transitional attack concluded with an inch-perfect cross from Eddie Afonso for the oncoming Laurindo Aurelio, who slid the ball home for Angola.
Angola’s joy was however short lived after Mali regrouped and pushed numbers forward in search of the equaliser which came in the 23rd minute after Hamidou Sinayoko pounced on a loose ball following a scramble in the box from a failed clearance from to bring his side back into the game.
The tables quickly turned yet again in favour of Angola who immediately reclaimed the lead after a lapse of concentration from the Mali defence resulted in Aurelio connecting with a delightful cross to get his brace and reclaim the lead for the Angolans heading into the break.
Coming into the second stanza, Mali pushed more numbers forward and were determined to get back into the game.
With more numbers forward, the Malians were caught on the counter yet again, this time with Aureilio being the supplier with a brilliant ball that landed on the path of the oncoming Miguel Vieira who opened his account in the 73rd minute.
The goal did not dampen the spirits of the Malians who continued to pile on the pressure and were duly rewarded, following a well-taken corner by Ousmane Coulibaly that was met by a powerful header from Yoro Diaby who headed home with just 12-minutes to go before full time.
With momentum on their side, the equaliser quickly came moments after the second goal courtesy of the troublesome Coulibaly who remained calm in the box after receiving a cross from the left to fire home on the second attempt following a block from the Manual Cunha to level matters and conclude a highly entertaining opener to the group.
Angola will now prepare to take on Mauritania on Friday, 20 January while Mali will resume their campaign against Mauritania on Tuesday, 24 January. Both fixtures will take place at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium in Oran.
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— MARHABA (@CAF_Online) January 16, 2023