Angola coach Goncalves satisfied with Mali draw at CHAN

Angola coach Pedro Goncalves was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the fact they let a late 3-2 lead slip against Mali in their African Nations Championship (CHAN) Group D fixture on Monday.

The 3-3 draw was the game of the tournament so far with an exciting start and a thrilling finish. The result ensures all three COSAFA nations at the CHAN picked up points in their opening round of games.

Two goals from Depú in the first quarter of the game has Angola 2-1 up against Mali, who are one of the pre-tournament favourites. That lead was extended to 3-1 when Gilberto added another on 72 minutes.

But Mali would not go away and Yoro Diaby and Ousmane Coulibaly netted to earn them a point.

“This was a great game and a perfect advert for African football,” Goncalves said. “We had a great first half and were leading but then we made one mistake and conceded. In the second half, we scored a third goal but then when we conceded the second goal, it destabilized our strategy and before we could recover, we conceded a third.

“We kept pushing for a fourth goal but unfortunately, we failed to get it. This was a very tricky game. We had a couple more opportunities, but I hail my team and the Malians for a great game of football.”

Angola are next up against Mauritania on Friday, where victory will seal a quarterfinal place from what is a three-team group. A draw would leave them sweating on the result between Mauritania and Mali on Jan. 24, while defeat would leave them on the brink of elimination.

“We have one point from this game, and we shall build on this going into the second game against Mauritania. We have a good squad, and we shall grow in this tournament,” Goncalves said.

Earlier in the round, Mozambique played to a 0-0 draw with Ethiopia in Group A, while Madagascar stunned Ghana with a 2-1 victory in Group C.